Twitter for Neighborhood Busybodies

Good lord, y’all. Are any of you on the Nextdoor app? It’s a neighborhood-specific social media thingy where people can post yard sale notices, advertise items for sale, complain about road work, provide alerts about upcoming local events, etc.

But “Crime & Safety” is where the real action is. The crime rate is low in my town, but apparently I’m surrounded by nitwits who do nothing but watch Fox News segments on MS-13 by day and stand armed watch in their darkened lanais after the sun goes down, scrutinizing passersby via surveillance cameras and passing judgment on teenagers’ dress (pull up your pants! take off that hoodie!) and intentions.

I’d rather see a horde of saggy-pantsed, be-hoodied teens on my lawn than any one of these armed, bloodthirsty, middle-aged drama llamas who are so clearly eager to shoot anyone who steps on their property.

Open thread!

Scatter Gun

A week ago, our local paper got its mitts on the NRA survey that the gun cartel lobbying group’s mouthpiece here in Florida — Marion Hammer — sends out to candidates running in the state. Hammer was extremely, uh, triggered by the gun safety measures the wingnut super-majority Florida legislature passed earlier this year in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre. The questions include the following:

1. In our view, completion of this questionnaire and signing your name is giving your word. NRA and USF [Unified Sportsmen of Florida] members as well as other constituents in your district trust you to keep your word. Do you agree that your answers are giving your word and that we expect you to keep it?

2 (c). Do you believe elected officials commit an act of malfeasance if they violate their Oath of Office and support legislation that contains provisions that they believe are unconstitutional?

Gun Granny Hammer has ruled the Florida GOP with an iron fist for decades, so I cannot tell you how delightful it is to see her insert snippy, passive-aggressive queries into her own survey to snipe at Republicans who defied her. Democratic candidates have also made hay of this year’s survey, featuring themselves defacing it or throwing it in the trash. Ha!

Also, a short while ago, The Post reported that the NRA has yanked all of its old legislator grades from its website. Post reporters asked why and got a variety of answers, including “nope, we didn’t change anything” and “it’s just an IT glitch.” An unnamed NRA flack admitted that “our enemies were using that.”

Another NRA flack, Jennifer Baker, did go on the record:

“Our grades are a member service,” she explained. “Our members vote and one of the services that we provide them is to assess — to the best that anyone can — the candidates’ position on the Second Amendment and make a determination what candidates in a very specific election are the best candidates to protect and defend their constitutional rights.” The grades are issued as close to the election as possible in order to have the most relevance to that election.

Pressed on the rationale for the change to the website, Baker first expressed frustration at the question.

“I don’t understand– Why are you asking? What does it matter to you?” she asked. “The grades are not relevant after the election.”

Baker promised to get back to The Post about the rationale behind the change on the NRA site, but then she ghosted, ignoring follow-up emails.

I think it’s pretty obvious why they’re making these changes. The Parkland kids and their allies are shining a bright light, and the roaches are scattering. Good.

Fuck Your Guns

This is an obscenity:

The kindergartners are apparently to learn to sing the lock-down song to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” It’s like a goddamned horror movie.

In the upcoming election, we’ll find out if there’s enough fight left in America to beat back lawless authoritarianism. We’ll also find out if we’ll continue to privilege some neck-bearded yahoo’s yearning to hump an AR-15 or similar battlefield weapon over our children’s lives and well-being.

Let’s not keep failing this test.

Jesus, Take the Wheel

Trump marked his 500th day in office (yes, time is telescoping out to eternity) by claiming the divine right of kings:

I don’t think Giuliani’s multiple, contradictory blatherings on the issue count as the rulings of “numerous legal scholars,” but I am not a lawyer. Also:

Trump’s cabinet is stocked with corrupt lackeys, and the GOP-led congress comprises spineless bag-men and Trump sycophants, so the bodies charged with holding a lawless president accountable won’t. Looks like it’ll be up to us voters, and there’s good news on that front.

The seniors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School graduated this weekend (minus four in the senior class who were killed in the massacre), and they’ve announced a nationwide bus tour and voter registration drive. Via Buzzfeed:

The March for Our Lives organizers are embarking on the next phase of their anti–gun violence movement: a 60-day bus tour across the US this summer to register young people to vote and to continue highlighting the NRA’s influence over politics.

“This tour is about exposing people who take money from the NRA and registering people to vote — those are the two main things we’re trying to push with this,” Jaclyn Corin, a student who survived the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting in February, told BuzzFeed News on Sunday.

Current and former MSDHS students will also visit every state congressional district in Florida in a separate bus tour:

“Because Florida is like a microcosm of the United States,” said Corin, “in the way that there are so many different areas, with so many different views, which is important to target all of them — because preaching to the choir essentially doesn’t do much, but going to the places that disagree with us is really where we’re going to make the change.”

She’s absolutely right about Florida mirroring the divides in the US. These kids are smart and motivated. They’re too young to have absorbed the learned helplessness and cynicism that leads people to believe they can’t make a difference.

They emphasize that they want to talk to everyone, even people opposed to gun safety measures. I don’t think they’ll change any gun nuts’ minds, but if they — and the rest of us — can pull people off the sidelines to vote, that can change everything.

“We’re having a meeting, see?”

A dapper child reporter asks Sarah Huckabee Sanders what specific actions the Trump administration is taking to address school shootings:

I didn’t see the briefing live, but much of the media reaction online centered on the wobble in Sanders’ voice in the clip above. The break in her voice when addressing the boy might have been humanizing in a person who hadn’t demonstrated so conclusively that she’s a soulless shill for a putrid demagogue.

But we know what she is, so let’s hear what she actually said, which boiled down to this: “Blah-blah-blah we’re having a meeting about it.”

The bottom line, charming kid-reporter, is that the tangerine-tinged homunculus who is that woman’s boss received $30 million-plus from the firearms business lobbying group known as the NRA, so neither he nor any of the craven turds who meld together to form the towering shitpile known as the Republican Party will do a goddamned thing to address school shootings in a meaningful way. Ever.

However, these folks are trying (via The Miami Herald):

Parkland parents launch a Super PAC to go after politicians and the NRA

Starting Wednesday, some Parkland families are raising money for a campaign to push the National Rifle Association out of politics and ban assault weapons, bump stocks and high-capacity magazines in the U.S.

Following the lead of their children, parents from the community where 17 died in a Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have joined together to form Families vs Assault Rifles, a nonprofit and political action committee founded to be a counterweight to the NRA…

The parents’ Super PAC is soliciting $17 donations, one dollar for each life lost in the shooting.

The PAC site features video and a quote from Marco Rubio’s disastrous appearance at the post-Parkland CNN town hall as the banner — they’ve adopted the so-called “problem” Rubio identified — “you would literally have to ban every semi-automatic rifle that’s sold in the U.S.” — as an objective! I’m in for $17 bucks.

Open thread.