Open Thread: #UniteTheRight, A Little Clot of Pishers

Local news in the Washington Post, “White-supremacist rally near White House dwarfed by thousands of anti-hate protesters”:

White supremacists held a rally in Washington on Sunday, and almost no one but their opponents and the police showed up.

Jason Kessler, one of the organizers of last year’s violent and deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, wanted to hold an anniversary demonstration there, but the city wouldn’t let him. So he brought his show to Washington, where he hoped 400 supporters would join him for a rally at Lafayette Square, across from the White House. Fewer than 40 turned out.

The group was met by thousands of protesters who filled their half of the leafy, seven-acre park chanting “Go home, Nazis!” “No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!” and “Black lives matter!” They drowned out whatever message Kessler and his small band of followers had hoped to deliver — and that was their goal.

For opponents, the day felt like a victory, albeit an often tense and angry one…

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Lily Chemo Update

Here’s a nice picture of a freshly bathed Lily on the way to the doctor for her checkup (man, three weeks went by fast):

As you can see, she is shedding like crazy after her bath because I didn’t have time to brush her out after her bath. “Why were you in such a rush, you ask?”

That’s because despite having a bath yesterday in preparation for her appointment today, Lily took it upon herself to roll in goose/rabbit/whoknows shit and smear it from head to toe. I had just gotten out of the shower and was drying off, and smelled something, looked down, and it was your royal highness covered in shit. I stopped drying, gave her a bath, dried her off, put her in my bedroom and shut the door, and got back IN the shower.

At any rate, she was a perfect angel on the ride up, although she did shed all over the car which had just been vacuumed and had all leather treated on Saturday, so it’s now a mess and smells of moist dog. When I took her in to the vet, the nurses and receptionist doted on her and used a lint brush on her and then brushed her out. She is their favorite.

As to the medical news, the doctor said she is a “rock star” (I have it in writing) and she is now no longer on prednisone, still taking plavix until the next visit, all her numbers are amazing, and we go back in three weeks.

Speaking of Lily, we are headed to the beach in the middle of September. I had such a good time last year with ABC and it has been such a shit year that at some point in July I said fuck it I am going again this year. I’m going to the Outer Banks for a week because I won’t die from the heat, that is a good time for me, and IT IS CHEAP AS HELL compared to the regular season (like 1/3 of what it costs during the peak). I still can’t afford it, but I don’t give a shit. My friend Melanie from undergrad who has had a horrible year with personal bullshit is coming for a few days, and Tammy is coming for a few days with Sam and then her husband is going to meet us for a long weekend. It should be fun. I’m excited. Here I am working on my beach body:

Back to Lily- Do I need to worry about sand fleas? I asked the doctor today and he said they are more like crustaceans than typical fleas. Is this an issue? Do any of you from the area know more about this?

Our Failed Meritocracy / Media: “OMGarosa!!!

(This was scheduled to pop up at 10am this morning, but FYWP… )

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Shonda: The Stephen Miller Story

… he wanted to join a party which wouldn’t have him because he was a Jew.

Hannah Arendt’s remarks on Leo Strauss

This morning Politico published an op-ed by Dr. David S. Glosser, Sc. D. Dr. Glosser is one of Stephen Miller’s uncles. While Dr. Glosser’s, and much of Stephen Miller’s other relations views about him are not exactly news, this is the first time that one of his relatives has directly addressed a national audience about him, his ideology, and his actions as opposed to having those views reported about. Dr. Glossar’s column explains in detail what almost every other American Jew knows very well, that if the immigration policies, laws, and regulations that Stephen Miller is such a clear advocate of were in force when their grandparents or great grandparents came to the US, they would never have been allowed in. And given that they were in force during the Holocaust, many seeking safety were unable to find it.

The Glossers’ journey is an American story. It is the story of the families being detained and separated at the southern border right now. No one takes their children, whatever possessions they can carry, and sets out either overland or at sea unless they are desperate. Desperate to escape state directed or tolerated political violence, drug cartel violence, the violence that arises from the sex trade, and the poverty and imisseration that contributes to it and results from it. Dr. Glossar tells the story of just one of his patients – a young man who was able to flee the mental torture of being turned into a child soldier and the physical torture that arose from suspected religious deviancy to eventually make his way to safety in the US. Dr. Glossar’s patient’s story is a testament to what America is supposed to be – the safe haven for those who seek it and wish to contribute to it. When men and women like Dr. Glossar’s patient, as well as his great grandfather – and many of our great grandparents regardless of our ethnicity or religion – undertook their long, dangerous journeys to the US they knew that at the end of that journey, if they were lucky enough to make it safely to their destination, was safety. This is the ideal that is America. This is its promise. Not the cramped, small minded, bigoted, hateful belief that the wealthiest and most powerful nation-state to ever exist is somehow on the verge of collapse because desperate men and women are carrying their children with them from danger through danger in the hope that they can reach safety.

Stephen Miller is the wickedest of sons. His prejudices and petty grievances betray not a world changing intellect, but the small minded fear of the petulant child who once slighted can never give up his grudge. Miller, and the President he so gleefully serves, like Gen. (ret) Kelly, and most every other American, is only an American because of lax immigration laws at the time their forebears came to the US and family based migration (what the President calls chain migration). It is not that they are hypocrites, they most certainly are, or would be if they had any sense of shame. Rather they are small, fearful, timid men play acting as fierce warriors on behalf of a socially constructed ideal: whiteness. And in the case of Stephen Miller, because he is Jewish, he is only white on sufferance and that privilege can be revoked by the very extremists and white supremacists that Miller has been playing footsie with since he was trying to survive the mean sidewalks and quadrangle of Santa Monica High School.

Open thread!

Banana Republican Purge

Peter Strzok was formally fired on Friday. Here’s an excerpt from The Post:

FBI agent Peter Strzok fired over anti-Trump texts

The FBI has fired agent Peter Strzok, who helped lead the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election until officials discovered he had been sending anti-Trump texts.

Aitan Goelman, Strzok’s lawyer, said FBI Deputy Director David L. Bowdich ordered the firing on Friday — even though the director of the FBI office that normally handles employee discipline had decided Strzok should face only a demotion and 60-day suspension. Goelman said the move undercuts the FBI’s repeated assurances that Strzok would be afforded the normal disciplinary process.

“This isn’t the normal process in any way more than name,” Goelman said, adding in a statement, “This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans.”

Trump is handling the news with the circumspection and class you’d expect:

So, he’s hoping to parlay the Strzok firing into a termination of an investigation into his campaign and its involvement with a hostile foreign power and a reopening of a completed investigation into a former political opponent. I assume that even the professionals who were appointed by Trump (Wray, Rosenstein, etc.) will continue to pretend their toddler boss isn’t smearing shit on the wall and allow the relevant investigation to proceed and the concluded one to remain closed.

That’s how it works when the Trump-appointed bosses of the national security agencies occasionally emerge to assure us they’re aware that Russia is engaged in information warfare with the US even though their boss and an increasing number of Congressional Republicans keep sending “Do you like me? Yes. No.” notes to Putin. It’s an awfully thin reed to hang one’s hopes on, though.

The Post article says Strzok’s termination was ordered on Friday, although the news only became public today. Maybe that explains Trump’s weird tweet on Saturday:

By the way, the language Trump uses regarding Lisa Page is beyond creepy, not to mention dangerous and hypocritical. People are supposed to be allowed to have private political opinions in this country, and it’s gross and inappropriate that an infamous serial philanderer who is known to pay off porn film actors, Playboy playmates, etc., would use his office to publicly harass a private citizen this way.

I realize the larger issue is that law enforcement officials should be able to have private opinions without threat of being purged by an unhinged narcissist in the Oval Office, Banana Republic style. But the persecution of Page is noteworthy in its own right; she hasn’t been a public employee for a while now and was not central to the investigation, but Trump continues to publicly shame her.

So, we continue the march toward nuclear-armed Banana Republic status. Just another day ending with “y.”

You’re the Puppet

I hesitate to pay any attention to relentless self-promoter Omarosa Manigault Newman, but her latest broadside against Trump is something. She appeared on the Today show this morning and released a recording of a conversation she had with Trump the day after Kelly fired her, in which Trump acts like he didn’t know about the firing.

This sent Twitler into a Twitter tizzy, as you can imagine. He called “Wacky Omarosa” a loser and shares that everyone in the White House hated her guts but he hired her because she “begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok.”

Trump also says, “When Gen. Kelly came on board he told me she was a loser & nothing but problems. I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me – until she got fired!”

This is confirmation that, as we suspected, the only criteria for working for Trump is to kiss his ass. Trump goes on to say, “While I know it’s ‘not presidential’ to take on a lowlife like Omarosa, and while I would rather not be doing so, this is a modern day form of communication and I know the Fake News Media will be working overtime to make even Wacky Omarosa look legitimate as possible. Sorry!”

Christ on a pony. For her part, Manigault Newman claims Trump is unfit to hold office and that John Kelly is actually running the White House, and hence the country:

“I don’t think he’s fit. He doesn’t even know what’s happening in his White House. General Kelly — John Kelly is running this White House, and Donald Trump has no clue what’s going on. He’s being puppeted, and that’s very dangerous for this nation.”

So, when a pair of notorious liars trade accusations, how can we know who’s telling the truth? Filtering their words through their documented behavior makes sense to me.

I suspect Trump DID know that Kelly canned Manigault Newman — he’s a chickenshit who doesn’t confront people to their faces, so it makes sense that he would outsource the firing to Kelly or at least okay the termination on Kelly’s say-so and then wimp out and plead ignorance when he talked to Manigault Newman.

I also suspect Trump doesn’t really run the country, per se. If he did, he’d be too busy to live-tweet Fox & Friends, engage in petty vendettas on Twitter, etc.

As our first retiree president, Trump plays golf every four days and watches Fox News. He gets trotted out for ceremonial purposes, and there are probably a few people whose job it is to give him things to do, like handing out medals, meeting Bikers for Trump and attending campaign rallies. But Kelly likely does a lot of the actual work, perhaps with the assistance of Pence and others in the West Wing.

And yes, that’s “very dangerous for this nation” as Manigault Newman says, but probably no more so than if Trump were actually running things. It remains surreal that these battling reality TV villains are/were in charge of anything important, let alone the goddamned U.S. government.

Monday Morning Open Thread: Reasons to Believe

Click on any of the tweets below to read the whole thread…

Same for this tweet-string:

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