Late Night Open Thread: Good for Harris

Vermont’s been considered a high-risk, low-reward state — only 16 primary delegates out of 4,690 nationwide”, chosen on Super Tuesday when the media attention will be on bigger prizes. And Sanders is popular with his constituents, if only because he’s familiar (and their expectations are low). But if Harris is running a fifty-state campaign, putting a VT marker down now would seem the smart move. If there’s local interest, she’s in a position to expand as the race heats up (and it’ll draw media attention!); If the new office doesn’t do well, best to get it out of the way early.

Speaking of late-night weirdness, and the Green Mountain state’s senator…

Open Thread: Netroots Nation #14 Is Now Taking Place in Philadelphia

Any Jackals in attendance? Or planning to attend over the weekend? Honest curiosity — I’d like to get your impressions!

I can remember when ‘we’ all hoped NN would be the progressive answer to CPAC… but, as people warned at the time, even if we had the same deep-pocketed ‘donors’ as the Repubs, getting Democrats to work together is like herding cats. I’m holding on to the Good Thought that the many, many breakout panels are supporting and training local activists working on local issues, which Murphy knows is every bit and more as important as taking back the White House.

Dave Weigel, for the Washington Post:

Four thousand or so liberal activists will spend the next three days here, gathering for the 14th annual Netroots Nation conference — the third with a presidential forum. In 2007, nearly every Democratic presidential candidate attended the conference in Chicago, staying for a debate and holding special sessions for attendees. In 2015, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley (but not Hillary Clinton) sat for Netroots interviews in Phoenix, only to be interrupted by Black Lives Matter activists who protested the lack of a focus on racial justice in the questions.

This year, just a handful of the 25 Democratic presidential candidates will make the trek to Philadelphia. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a frequent speaker at the conference, will join former HUD secretary Julián Castro, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) at the Saturday presidential forum — and that may be it. With Warren’s exception, the highest-polling Democratic candidates will not be in Philadelphia. Joe Biden, whose campaign is headquartered in that city, will be in New Hampshire; so will South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Neither Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif) nor Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will be attending, and the Sanders campaign says the candidate is off the trail completely this weekend, for unspecified reasons.

Sanders will have a surrogate, of sorts, at Netroots; former Ohio state senator Nina Turner, a co-chair of his campaign, will appear on a panel and join a solidarity protest with hospital workers. But the smaller footprint for presidential candidates is notable, and organizers say that Biden et. al. are making a mistake by skipping.

“Netroots attendees are the core activists of the party and will play a key role in determining who Democrats’ 2020 nominee will be,” said Carolyn Fiddler, the spokeswoman for Daily Kos, the group blog that founded the conference. “Candidates not in attendance are missing the opportunity to speak directly to this ultra-engaged group of voters and engage core progressives the issues they care about most.”
Read more

Friday Evening Semi-Respite Open Thread: Just Another Jeebus-Humpin’ Repub…

You understand, I have this horrible condition. I have had it for years. I am incapable of seeing women as people. It used to be possible to get by in political life in this country with this condition. You would just move around a smoky room, speaking only to men, and you could have a nice career. But now, oh, these things, these things are everywhere. Holding elected office, performing jobs, playing soccer! You must understand my agony when I behold this. So much good meat, delicious meat, wonderful meat —

It is with difficulty that I shamble into the company of people every day. It is with difficulty that I convince people that I am, after all, a human being, not a wild animal, the mad, helpless victim of an uncontrollable lust. I cannot, I dare not — oh, it is with difficulty that I write these words now, knowing a woman may read them. The mere thought of my words moving before her unprotected eyes sends me into a frenzy. Ffffffft rrrrrrrrr graaarrrfll rrrrrr…

Do not let me out of the house! Or if I am so honored to be elected by you the people, the governor’s mansion!

But. Seriously. Petri’s Washington Post colleague, Alyssa Rosenberg:

Foster’s quickness to condemn the discussion of his decision as a communist plot to bring down America lends the merest hint that his intentions here were less about preserving the sanctity of his marriage and more about ginning up the sort of culture war controversy that could be a boon to his campaign fundraising…

Part of what made Foster’s request to Campbell seem disingenuous is that it would be somewhat unusual for any candidate to be alone with any reporter under any circumstances, much less a whole day that includes a long ride… Fortunately for Foster, he has a male campaign director, Colton Robison, who would presumably be going on this day-long trip anyway to keep an eye on things…

And yet I’ll bet there are internet mischief-lovers already scouring Foster’s browser history for… clues. Two wetsuits and a dildo? Farm animal abuse? Murphy the Trickster God is the patron of Rule 34

Reminder – Vigils Tonight!

Lights for Liberty vigils tonight everywhere! Click here to find one near you.

If you take photos, you can send them to me and I’ll make posts over the weekend. If you have photos, contact me through the “Quick Links” at the top right, and I’ll send you my email address.

Open thread

The Cruelty Is the Point

The House Democrats released a report on what’s being done in our name at the border. CNN has a summary here and links to a PDF of the complete report here.

The report says 18 infants and toddlers under two years old were snatched from their parents and held “for 20 days to half a year.” It details the pointless and cruel ways hundreds of kids have been shuffled around like lost baggage and in some cases held after their parents were deported without them. Here’s the conclusion of the executive summary:

The information obtained by the Committee indicates that the Trump Administration’s decision to separate thousands of babies, toddlers, and children from their parents and put them in government custody for months or years is causing immense suffering. This staff report provides numerous case studies that illustrate their trauma in stark terms. These child separations were not required by law and were not in the best interest of the children. Instead, the policy of separating children from their parents appears to be a deliberate, unnecessary, and cruel choice by President Trump and his Administration.

There are horrifying new details in the report, but we’ve known about the abuse for a long time. We’ve also known Trump uses family separation as a “deterrent” for a long time, and there was extensive coverage of the child camps in recent weeks.

Despite these facts, Trump’s approval rating ticked up slightly. He’s still historically unpopular, having never cracked 50% approval in a reputable poll despite a strong economy, etc. But still, somewhere north of 40% of our fellow citizens think he’s doing a good job, child caging and all.

The cruelty is the point with Trump, and the same must be said of anyone who approves of him. They’re either enjoying the spectacle of pain and heartache inflicted on desperate people, or their indifference amounts to a depravity in its own right. Shameful.