Thursday Evening Open Thread: The Past Isn’t Dead – It Isn’t Even Past

NYTimes story from Tuesday, “The Growing Right-Wing Terror Threat“:

… The main terrorist threat in the United States is not from violent Muslim extremists, but from right-wing extremists. Just ask the police.

In a survey we conducted with the Police Executive Research Forum last year of 382 law enforcement agencies, 74 percent reported anti-government extremism as one of the top three terrorist threats in their jurisdiction; 39 percent listed extremism connected with Al Qaeda or like-minded terrorist organizations. And only 3 percent identified the threat from Muslim extremists as severe, compared with 7 percent for anti-government and other forms of extremism…

Law enforcement agencies around the country are training their officers to recognize signs of anti-government extremism and to exercise caution during routine traffic stops, criminal investigations and other interactions with potential extremists. “The threat is real,” says the handout from one training program sponsored by the Department of Justice. Since 2000, the handout notes, 25 law enforcement officers have been killed by right-wing extremists, who share a “fear that government will confiscate firearms” and a “belief in the approaching collapse of government and the economy.”…

Most of the GOP presidential candidates are currently attending Ralph Reed‘s “Faith & Freedom Coalition Policy Conference” in DC, where Rand Paul has already shared his thoughts on the Charleston massacre:

… “What kind of person goes into church and shoots nine people?” Paul lamented. “There’s a sickness in our country. There’s something terribly wrong. But it isn’t going to be fixed by your government. It’s people straying away, it’s people not understanding where salvation comes from. I think if we understand that, we’ll have better expectations of what to expect from government.”…

Hillary Clinton was in Las Vegas at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), along with Bernie Sanders… and Ben Carson.

Apart from the Original Sin behind “American Exceptionalism”, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

Afternoon Open Thread: Trade Off Back On

It’s baaaaaack.

To recap, the version of the TPP fast track authority with worker protections that passed the Senate was blocked in the House by Democrats. The version without worker protections has now passed the House and is headed back to the Senate.

Fun times.

Open thread.

Open Thread: Good News for John McCain the Klown Kar Kavalcade!


Daniel Drezner, tongue so firmly in cheek as to protrude from the vulgar bodily orifice, #slatepitches to the Washington Post as to “Why Donald Trump will be good for the Republicans in 2016“:

… The bipartisan take on Trump’s announcement is that his candidacy will not be good for the GOP. Conservative outlet after conservative outlet has already gone after Trump for bringing his next-level buffoonery to the GOP stage…

Trump can only crowd out one of these candidates (unless Trump’s ego and hair are filing separately with the FEC). Also, it’s hard to see how Trump is any less experienced at politics than, say, Ben Carson, who will also be displacing one of those more experienced candidates. So let’s not exaggerate Trump’s displacement effect…

Trump makes real politicians look better by comparison — even Ted Cruz is an actual seasoned politician compared to Trump. Politics is a skill, and on a debate stage with people who have done this for a living, Trump will likely do about as well as Ross Perot did debating NAFTA. And the people watching these debates will think to themselves, “I’m not sure how I feel about Bush/Rubio/Walker/Paul, but I feel a damn sight better about them than Trump.”

… And since Trump is so widely disliked by so many GOP voters, other more viable candidates will have a real incentive to lay waste to him. Indeed, eviscerating Trump on the debate stage could be a way for a Cruz or a Paul or Christie or a Perry to stand out. This will be much more interesting and than watching everyone argue over who is the true conservative in the race.

Would the GOP be better off if Donald Trump decided to become apolitical? Sure, probably. But since he has decided to be a political actor, it’s better for the Republicans that he be inside the tent — and get destroyed — than act like a kingmaker looking in from outside the tent.

Of course, there’s at least one Repub candidate who’s not real happy about The Donald’s timing…

And another public figure, predictably irked:

Open Thread: “George Takei Is Out for Justice”

Great little quick read, from the NYTimes:

You’re very busy for someone your age. You’ve written three books; you have a web series; and your musical, “Allegiance,” based on your family’s time in an internment camp during World War II, will debut on Broadway in November.

As a matter of fact, I just came back from the posting of the marquee at the Long­acre Theater. I just wish my father could have been there. Takei is his surname, and the play is about an event that affected him so profoundly. He came back to Los Angeles from the camp with nothing — literally penniless — and was living on Skid Row.

In a recent TED Talk, you explained that you’re no longer angry with America over your internment. In fact, you’re an outspoken patriot. How were you able to be so forgiving?

Well, my father was, too. When I was a teenager, I had many long after-dinner conversations with him, and he explained American democracy to me. He said, “Democracy can be as great as the people can be, but it’s also as fallible as people are.”...

Apart from reminders that we do make progress, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

Women’s World Cup – Group F Final Game

Sorry, folks, lost track of time. England is beating Colombia 1-0 and France is beating Mexico 3-0. If the scores hold up, things will be interesting.