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.

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Remember — A Marathon, Not A Sprint


Technology has sped up many processes in the years since Watergate, but it still takes just as long to incubate a homegrown tomato or a healthy baby. Trump’s unlikely to be the only person disappointed when Mueller doesn’t “wrap things up” in time for the New Year’s Eve champagne, but he may well be the most surprised. Per the Washington Post:

White House lawyers are expected to meet with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s office late this week seeking good news: that his sprawling investigation’s focus on President Trump will soon end and their client will be cleared.

But people familiar with the probe say that such assurances are unlikely and that the meeting could trigger a new, more contentious phase between the special counsel and a frustrated president, according to administration officials and advisers close to Trump…

White House lawyers have told the president he could be exonerated as early as the beginning of the year, after previously reassuring him that he would be cleared by Thanksgiving and Christmas, as The Washington Post previously reported. They have stated publicly that all White House interviews are over and that Mueller’s team is no longer seeking White House documents.

In the meeting this week, they plan to ask Mueller’s investigators if they need more information before reaching a conclusion that the probe as related to Trump is complete, according to a person familiar with the Trump team’s plan who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.

The question that White House lawyers will pose to the special counsel’s office, according to the person: “You’ve had all these witnesses, all these records. Is there anything else you need from the White House?”…

“I think it’s possible Mueller’s team could give them an idea of how much longer they anticipate their investigation will last,” said Peter Zeidenberg, the former deputy special counsel who helped investigate the leak of Valerie Plame’s covert role as a CIA operative. “I would be shocked if they have a timeline anything similar to what we’ve heard coming from the White House.”

“As far as a clean bill of health, I can’t imagine they are going to be prepared to make a decision like that at this point,” he said of the special counsel’s team. “They are not going to be in a position to make that call until they finish this case and finish discussing all the evidence they have.”

Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Trump’s legal team, said he thinks it is unlikely that the probe wraps up by the end of the year, but he said he believes it could conclude in the spring. He said that Mueller is aware of the political implications surrounding his investigation.

“Bob understands you can’t have a president who is living under this cloud of uncertainty,” Corallo said, adding that he believes it is possible that the special counsel will at some point call Trump’s lawyers and say, “We are done with the president. There is nothing there.”…

The attacks on Mueller’s investigation grew this weekend after an attorney for the presidential transition told congressional investigators Saturday that thousands of pages of the organization’s communications were provided to Mueller by the federal General Services Administration.

Trump’s lawyers learned Mueller had the emails this month when witnesses were quizzed on the material. Some of the documents contained sensitive information that wasn’t related to the Russia investigation, according to a person familiar with the material.

A GSA spokeswoman declined to comment. Mueller’s team said it obtained all documents legally.


When President Gillibrand enters office in 2020 with 60 Democratic Senate seats and 250 House seats, we are all going to look back and say we’re proud we didn’t give up in 2017.

Update. Epic first comment.

Remember The Maine (Senator)!

Following up on Betty’s post below…

Pursuing the Maine chance, Susan Collins is all over a small part of the map on the Senate tax-theft/heath-care-wrecking/federal-overreach/America-gutting  bill.

She voted in favor of the motion to proceed, but she’s now signaling that she isn’t yet a solid “yes” on final passage:

Republican U.S. Senator Susan Collins said on Thursday she was not committed to voting for the Senate tax bill, citing concerns over healthcare and a deduction for state and local taxes.

Collins told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast it would be “very difficult for me to support the bill if I do not prevail on those two issues” but she was encouraged by her discussions with leadership.

Hedge, dodge, waver and waffle:  the net is that she’s still susceptible to pressure.  I think she’s beginning to feel the heat on at least two talking points:  that the bill raises taxes on many, probably most of her constituents, which is a bad place for a New England Republican to be; and that the health care measures she’s been pursuing are fig leaves that will gut her loudly proclaimed commitment to preserving access for all those who have it now.

I called her DC office and left a message and then spoke to a weary staffer in one of her state offices.  I encourage you all to do the same — especially when you can leave a recording that doesn’t necessarily mark you as a non-Mainer.

Contact info for all her offices here.

Image: Alexander Coosemans, Still life with fruit and lobster before 1689.