Friday Morning Open Thread: Readership Capture

In before the Friday News Dump, assuming we get another one here in mid-August…


In support of Marcia Blackburn’s opponent:


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Late Night Open Thread: Personal Politics

Saw my political idol Sen. Elizabeth Warren in person for the first time this evening, since she was holding a town hall (her thirty-second, she said) at a time and place which made it impossible for me not to succumb to vulgar curiosity. And I’m very glad we went — even the Spousal Unit, who is far less of a political animal than I am, was impressed and heartened by her performance. She must be a wonderful teacher; she kept her audience of 500-600 continually engaged, responded to every question asked with relevant information, and never lost sight of the larger arc. Pretty good turnout for a Wednesday evening in August, too!

First Sen. Warren spoke for about 40 minutes; then there were half a dozen questioners, chosen by lottery ticket. The questions covered a fair sample of the current Big Topics; student debt (she’s *very* invested in taking the profit sector out of student loans, of course), the rapidly increasing cost of prescription drugs (she explicitly used the word corruption several times in that response).

Another older lady asked how she could ‘not despair about Roe v. Wade’; Sen. Warren led us through the fight to save the ACA right after Trump’s inauguration (‘I have that image seared on the back of my eyeballs — whenever I think about giving up, I remember seeing him there, and that re-energizes me’), pointing out how collective action by individuals made *just* enough of a difference to peal away three Repubs and save “our” healthcare, and stressing that the only way to keep Brent Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court is to commit the same level of sustained effort before the GOP can gavel him through.

Then came the inevitable True Progressive (I was kinda surprised we only got the one TP, but this is not a chic hipster town, yet). He spent rather more time than any of the previous questioners took in total to explain his impeccable credentials (‘Early supporter — wrote you so many checks!’) before sharing his laundry list of complaints. She congratulated Scott Brown when he was appointed ambassador to New Zealand! She called Mitch McConnell ‘my colleague’! Worst of all, she wasn’t On The Front Lines, calling for IMPEACHMENT NOW!…. How could “we” ever trust her again, after such behavior!?!

And Warren handled him impeccably. She said she was happier to have Scotty in New Zealand than in New England, and then she led us through the steps necessary for impeachment: It’s the House that has to take a vote in favor; only then can the Senate proceed. But, she stressed, the first step is to allow Robert Mueller to complete a full, thorough, and fair investigation; calling for impeachment before investigation is not a wise path for either Democrats *or* Republicans just yet!

(That got the second-biggest round of applause for the evening.)

The final question was from a middle-school teacher, who said that ‘even her students’ wanted to know what they could do, right now. Senator Warren handled this wisely, too — she reiterated that we all need to be registering voters, holding signs, knocking on doors, sharing information & listening ‘even with people who might not agree with us on everything.’ That mini-speech drew a standing ovation.

Afterwards, it had been arranged for anyone who wanted to take a selfie with the Senator… but I’d estimate there were almost a hundred people lining up for their chance by the time we left the auditorium, and I’m actually quite shy in person, so you’ll have to take my word.

Breaking: Sharice Davids Wins Her Primary!

… and I’m slap-happy, but at least now I can sleep soundly.

Davids, the winner of a six-way primary race, would be the first Native American woman elected to Congress if she prevails over U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, the incumbent Republican from Overland Park, in the general election.

She also would be the first openly LGBT person to represent Kansas at either the federal or state level.

Davids won Tuesday’s hotly contested and crowded Democratic primary by capturing 37 percent of the vote, edging out her closest competitor in Brent Welder, who received 34 percent, by 2,088 votes…

Yoder, who coasted through his primary contest on Tuesday, has won Kansas’ 3rd congressional district by double digits in every election going back to 2010.

But Democrats are optimistic about their chances in the suburban Kansas City district, which Democrat Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential race…

Among those in the crowd was Jeff Harris, a member of the Westwood City Council, who first met Davids two months ago.

“When I think about who I want representing me, I’m interested in someone who can set a goal and motivate themselves to achieve it,” Harris said. “The other reason I’m supporting her: You know, never say vote for someone just based on their characteristics or their identity, but that experience of being a woman dominated in a world by men, of being a lesbian, of being Native American, she has had to learn about how to navigate spaces where she didn’t have power, where she didn’t have control.”

He continued: “That takes a lot of motivation and fortitude. When I think about who I want representing me, it’s a person with that type of experience and that type of strength.”…

Goal Thermometer

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Excelsior!

… which is the state motto of New York, usually translated as ‘Ever Upward.’ It’s also a word for wood shavings used as packing material, and according to the nuns in my NYC parochial school, the motto was chosen because in the 1770s they couldn’t put BULLSHIT! on official documents.

Note the timestamps here. Steve Vockrodt, “Investigative reporter for the Kansas City Star:

Ohio update:

In other good news…
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Fighting Fascists Open Thread: The Weekend Portland Protest

I couldn’t figure out why the “Proud Flesh Bois” and their “Patriot Prey-er” buddies picked last weekend for their cosplay riot, until I found this Daily Beast article by Corey Pein:

Hundreds of armed supporters of President Donald Trump, led by a fringe Republican congressional candidate, marched on Saturday, leaving blood from scattered street fights in their wake.

Ostensibly a campaign event for long-shot U.S. Senate hopeful Joey Gibson, members of his group Patriot Prayer urged the president to lock up his political opponents, including Hillary Clinton, and promised violent retribution for anyone who threatened their right to “free speech” or armed self-defense. Groups of Trump supporters swarmed through the streets, singling out people of color to fight, some of whom appeared to belong to small vigilante squads of local anti-fascists, as well as others who appeared to be mere passersby. Police announced four arrests, but gave no estimate of injuries.

Extremist group watchdogs such as the Southern Poverty Law Center warned ahead of the event that it could turn into “another Charlottesville.” It did not, but only in the sense that no one was killed. Such warnings, prompted by Gibson’s provocations, put all eyes on the rally…

His supporters flocked from around the West Coast and the country, a contingent of Proud Boys, “Three Percenter” militia members, Trump-supporting bikers, fundamentalist Christians, and college Republicans. Gibson had insinuated that his supporters would bring guns into the city and many apparently did, although to comply with local ordinances, the weapons stayed stowed in backpacks…

Per the local Oregonian, today:

A traumatic brain injury. Third-degree chemical burns. Open wounds.

At least three people who gathered to protest a rally by right-wing group Patriot Prayer were hospitalized Saturday because of injuries sustained from crowd-control munitions fired by Portland police, according to activists, counter-protest organizers and a media report.

The city’s police chief, Danielle Outlaw, on Monday offered her most passionate defense yet of officer tactics used to keep the rival poetical factions apart.

Police succeeded in preventing violent clashes between armed demonstrators that many had feared, she said…

“It was going to be a very rowdy, physically violent ruckus and it was not that because of the actions that the officers took,” Outlaw said…

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