Shut Down the Long Weekend Open Thread: There Is Nothing Trump Can’t Fvck Up

… not even a fireworks display on the Fourth of July.

Also from the Washington Post (paper of record for the company town whose monopoly industry is national politics), “Evening in America: What it felt like on Trump’s Fourth of July”:

From the president’s vantage point, his supporters looked like they were in cages. Their fingers curled around chain-link. Bellies smushed against butts. When their knees gave out, they sat on ponchos and muddy blankets and squares of wet cardboard. The air, scented by sodden socks and bug spray, sagged with humidity. When the breeze picked up, so did the sensation that everything was surrounded by a battalion of toilets. It was difficult to move, to escape, but then no one was trying to do so. They were grateful to be here, soaked by hours of drizzle, hugged by a lazy heat, waiting hours and hours for him, for the show. The president had invited them to express their love of country in a maze of corrals, on a truly crappy day of weather, but they didn’t feel like prisoners of pomp or slaves to circumstance but jubilant pilgrims thrilled to be counted as citizens of the “most just and virtuous republic ever conceived,” as the president put it…

Trump’s been doing this kind of thing for years, though never with the U.S. military as his production team. In April 1990, when he opened the doomed Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, a 43-year-old Donald Trump arranged 5½ minutes of fireworks that were half-obscured by his own building, insinuated that he had cured a disabled guest of honor and — after his podium spittled theatrical fog — told the crowd to “have a nice life.” (His business would file for bankruptcy the following year.)…


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Friday Morning Open Thread: Maybe Just Enjoy the Weekend

Speaking of weird “patriotic” co-optations… I knew that Gretchen Peters’ “Independence Day” was not exactly an America Fvck Yeah! anthem, but then I was living in the area during the Francine Hughes trial. What I had *not* known, until now, was that the song has been claimed by the same sort of rightwing nitwits who think “Born in the USA” is about how Ronald Reagan made jingoism kewl again. From Rolling Stone, “How a Song About Domestic Violence Got Mistaken for a Patriotic Anthem”:

When Martina McBride’s “Independence Day” was released to country radio in April 1994, it was easy to mistake the country song for a U-S-A! U-S-A! anthem. It was titled after America’s most patriotic holiday after all, and its irresistible chorus of “Let freedom ring!” seemed custom-made for small-town Fourth of July celebrations to come. But the true meaning behind “Independence Day,” written by Gretchen Peters and recorded by powerhouse vocalist McBride, was lost on many listeners — the seemingly July 4th holiday hit turned out to be a story of domestic violence and one woman’s drastic measures to escape abuse at home.

“I started getting all these letters — handwritten letters, back in the day — from women saying, ‘This is my song,’” McBride says now. “I got a few letters that said, ’I heard this song on the radio, I’ve been battered for 10 years, and I left. This was the thing that made me realize that it’s not my fault, that I need to make a change.’”

Throughout the past 25 years, both McBride and Peters have watched as their song has taken on a life entirely of its own — not just in its cathartic impact for victims of abuse, but also in its misinterpretation for political means. Sean Hannity used the song as a theme on his radio show from shortly after 9/11 until 2014; Sarah Palin chose it as a walk-on song during her Vice Presidential campaign. Peters, in particular, has been saddled with a patriotic anthem she did not write.

“As the writer, I always believe that it’s very powerful to know what your story’s about and know your characters, but not necessarily put it all in there,” she says. “Because I think it invites the listener to play a part. The danger there is that those kinds of songs are much more easily misconstrued.”…

Somehow a song about deliberate cruelty driving its victims to a terrible revenge seems appropriate right at the moment, or maybe that’s just me. It’s a darned catchy ditty, regardless!








Trumpocalypse Open Thread: Damp Fireworks


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Thursday Morning Open Thread: Now More Than Ever, Happy Independence Day

(Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)
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Mr. Pierce, at Esquire:

This thing has the potential to be the biggest, chewiest cluster of fck in Washington since the last time Louie Gohmert dined alone. And an infinitely more perilous one.

This is out-and-out banana republic authoritarian performance art. That it also is obviously a multimillion-dollar exercise in low comedy is sadly beside the point. It should be mocked, relentlessly and everywhere, by every American who still has a sense of dignity and a vague memory of what an actual celebration of patriotism feels like…

MAKE. IT. SO:

What if the GOP threw a military extravaganza, and only the Fox News shut-ins watched? Per Deadline:

PBS and C-SPAN will join Fox News in providing live coverage of “Salute to America,” while CNN and MSNBC have said they will only break in to regular programming as news warrants.

The broadcasts networks will rely mostly on their streaming channels for Trump’s portion of the event — ABC News Live, CBSN and NBC News Digital will all provide live coverage — and report stories for use on their respective evening newscasts.

NBC has its own July 4 celebration, its annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, which will air from 8-10 PM ET/PT, with a one-hour encore at 10 PM.

All other broadcast networks are airing regular programming in primetime…

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
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Open Thread: Trump Tries to Steal Independence Day

Literally, steal from the Park Service (not to mention the military). Per the Washington Post:

The National Park Service is diverting nearly $2.5 million in entrance and recreation fees primarily intended to improve parks across the country to cover costs associated with President Trump’s Independence Day celebration Thursday on the Mall, according to two individuals familiar with the arrangement…

The diverted park fees represent just a fraction of the extra costs the government faces as a result of the event, which will include displays of military hardware, flyovers by an array of jets including Air Force One, the deployment of tanks on the Mall and an extended pyrotechnics show. By comparison, according to former Park Service deputy director Denis P. Galvin, the entire Fourth of July celebration on the Mall typically costs the agency about $2 million.

For Trump’s planned speech at the Lincoln Memorial, the White House is distributing VIP tickets to Republican donors and political appointees, prompting objections from Democratic lawmakers who argue that the president has turned the annual celebration into a campaign-like event.

The Republican National Committee and Trump’s reelection campaign confirmed Tuesday that they had received passes they were handing out for the event.

“We’ve never seen anything like this,” Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.), the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the interior, environment and related agencies, said in a phone interview. “No ticketed political event should be paid for with taxpayer dollars.”…

By tapping entrance fees to cover the presidential event, Interior is siphoning money that is typically used to enhance the visitor experience either on the Mall or at smaller parks across the country, with projects ranging from road and bridge repair to habitat restoration. The transfer amounts to nearly 5 percent of the funds that less-profitable parks used last year for upgrades, according to budget documents.

“This is a breach of trust with the public,” Theresa Pierno, president and CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association, said in an email. “The public pays parks fees to fix national parks and for educational programs, not the president’s parade.”…

The “Salute to America” marks the culmination of Trump’s two-year quest to mount a military-style extravaganza inspired by his visit to a Bastille Day celebration in Paris in 2017. His previous efforts to stage a Veterans Day military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in 2018 were scuttled after estimated costs ballooned to the tens of millions of dollars…

Jon Chait, NYMag“Trump Is Packing the July 4 Fireworks Because He’s Afraid of Getting Booed”:

The Fourth of July celebration exposes Trump to the sort of crowd from which he has been traditionally insulated. The event is held in Washington, which (along with its surrounding suburbs) is heavily Democratic. It is also drawing protesters who will fly the famous Baby Trump blimp. Trump is also alienating nonpolitical attendees who might resent him turning a hallowed ritual that is a traditional venue for unity and a respite from politics into another divisive spectacle.

Trump’s efforts to control the rally should be seen in the context of his fear that the crowd will boo him. He is advertising the event on his Twitter feed, cordoning off the immediate area around his speech for ticket holders, and giving tickets away to Republican donors…

Trump has spent his presidency representing his supporters, without even bothering with the pretense of representing the majority that voted against him. He is attempting to conscript patriotic rituals into this effort. He deserves the reception he fears: loud, merciless boos.