Thank you for a funky time

Jesus, I’m not going to be able to take all the centrist porn about the awesomeness of Nikki Haley.

You know what will make us all feel better? Giving some money to the Balloon Juice More More More fund. Forty-seven candidates — almost entirely in 2nd and 3rd tier races — selected by the readers. You can give to just one or two candidates if you don’t want to end up on too many mailing lists.

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You can send some postcards too.

Anger can be power

Give to Heidi Heitkamp:

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Give to the Balloon Juice More More More Fund:

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Send some postcards.


Update. Here’s a great article about the hero we need right now.

Thursday Morning Open Thread: A Democracy, If We Can Keep It

(Mike Luckovich via

Vote Dem, we’re the party that won’t rob you blind. Sound strategy, IMO. Michael Scherer, in the Washington Post:

A day after President Trump’s former lawyer implicated him in directing a crime, Democratic leaders sharpened their election-year attack on the GOP as the party of corruption. But in an effort to keep the electoral focus on bread-and-butter issues, they largely steered clear of any discussion of impeachment.

Party leaders encouraged candidates and elected members to talk instead about demanding protection for the ongoing Justice Department investigations of Trump and his allies, offering a clear sign that they feel confident that grass-roots energy against Trump will show up at the polls without the need for a divisive rallying cry from the stump.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a letter to her caucus members asking them to keep speaking about economic issues, while also urging them to call out what she described as the “cesspool of self-enrichment, secret money and ethical blindness” that exists in Washington under unified Republican rule.

“It is our duty as Members of Congress to seek the truth, and hold the President and his administration accountable to the American people, and we will,” Pelosi wrote. “As November rapidly approaches, we must also stay focused on delivering our strong economic message to hard-working families across America.”

As for impeachment, Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, said, “We’re too early in the process to be using these words.” That should wait, he said, until Democrats “gather the information.”

Republicans, by contrast, eagerly warned about the danger of a Democratic impeachment push as they tried to increase fear, and thus turnout, among Trump’s most loyal voters…

Across the aisle, Politico reports:

… “The verdict in the Manafort trial isn’t nearly as worrisome to me as the Cohen agreement and the Cohen statement,” said former Trump adviser Michael Caputo. “It’s probably the worst thing so far in this whole investigation stage of the presidency.”

One Republican lawyer close to the White House worried that Cohen — with his unique access to Trump’s history of business dealings and scandalous personal entanglements — could ultimately prove more damaging to Trump, and give Democrats fodder for impeachment if they take the House in November. “It’s the only excuse they’ll need,” the lawyer said. “And believe me, they won’t need much of an excuse.”

The sheer force of the two stories breaking within minutes of each other left an unavoidable impression that the walls are closing in on a president facing serious accusations of wrongdoing, leaving some to worry what Trump will do next.

One former administration official said there’s a “very high” likelihood that the president — who increasingly feels under attack from all sides — will do something erratic that could make an already bad situation worse…

Open Thread: Wide-Screen Drama

Ava Duvernay is responsible for Selma, so she’s clearly up to the topic, and she’s gonna get a lot of attention as she works on her new film. And every snippet of news about it is going to drive Lord Smallgloves even further out of his tiny mind.
Speaking of wilding, Robert Schooley has some quotes from The Madness of King George III

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Gun Safety Open Thread: Nudging the Persuadable


Reasonable argument, with a side of humor — “F*ck You, I Like My Guns”:

I always find it interesting that when I was in the Army, and part of my job was to be incredibly proficient with this exact weapon, I never carried one at any point in garrison other than at the range. Our rifles lived in the arms room, cleaned and oiled, ready for the next range day or deployment. We didn’t carry them around just because we liked them. We didn’t bluster on about barracks defense and our second amendment rights. We tucked our rifles away in the arms room until the next time we needed them, just as it had been done since the Army’s inception. The military police protected us from threats in garrison. They had 9 mm Berettas to carry. They were the only soldiers who carry weapons in garrison. We trusted them to protect us, and they delivered. With notably rare exceptions, this system has worked well. There are fewer shootings on Army posts than in society in general, probably because soldiers are actively discouraged from walking around with rifles, despite being impeccably well trained with them. Perchance, we could have the largely untrained civilian population take a page from that book?

I understand that people want to be able to own guns. That’s ok. We just need to really think about how we’re managing this. Yes, we have to manage it, just as we manage car ownership. People have to get a license to operate a car, and if you operate a car without a license, you’re going to get in trouble for that. We manage all things in society that can pose a danger to other people by their misuse. In addition to cars, we manage drugs, alcohol, exotic animals (there are certain zip codes where you can’t own Serval cats, for example), and fireworks, among other things. We restrict what types of businesses can operate in which zones of the city or county. We have a whole system of permitting for just about any activity a person wants to conduct since those activities could affect others, and we realize, as a society, that we need to try to minimize the risk to other people that comes from the chosen activities of those around them in which they have no say. Gun ownership is the one thing our country collectively refuses to manage, and the result is a lot of dead people.

Let’s be honest. You just want a cool toy, and for the vast majority of people, that’s all an AR-15 is. It’s something fun to take to the range and put some really wicked holes in a piece of paper. Good for you. I know how enjoyable that is. I’m sure for a certain percentage of people, they might not kill anyone driving a Formula One car down the freeway, or owning a Cheetah as a pet, or setting off professional grade fireworks without a permit. Some people are good with this stuff, and some people are lucky, but those cases don’t negate the overall rule. Military style rifles have been the choice du jour in the incidents that have made our country the mass shootings capitol of the world. Formula One cars aren’t good for commuting. Cheetahs are bitey. Professional grade fireworks will probably take your hand off. All but one of these are common sense to the average American. Let’s fix that. Be honest, you don’t need that AR-15. Nobody does. Society needs them gone, no matter how good you may be with yours. Kids are dying, and it’s time to stop fucking around.


Our day will come

Don’t freak out about the generic ballot polls. We’ve got enthusiasm on our side. We should have three years of continuous momentum.

Let’s start by taking back the House this November.

Give here to the Balloon Juice fund that’s split equally between all eventual Democratic nominees in all House districts currently held by Republicans.

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You can give here to Swing Left which is targeting 70 House seats using the power of grassroots volunteers.

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Breathe, celebrate and recover

Breathe, celebrate and recover as you worked your asses off over the past year. Phone calls, story telling, organizing, demonstrating, encouraging, sheltering and recovering as others took your place when you needed a breather. Good job.

And yes, there are administrative attack angles. Section 1115 waivers that have work requirements and then whatever Idaho is trying to do are the two that are more likely to reduce coverage. So be ready again, but today, celebrate.