Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: The Proper Commemoration of “Confederate Memorial Day”

One of those “just in the family” things they don’t talk about in front of the Yankees, apparently, because I don’t remember hearing about it before. This year’s commemoration gets a more fitting memorial. Angela Helm, at The Root:

On Monday, Alabama is set to observe Confederate Memorial Day, commemorating the sons of the South killed in the U.S. Civil War. No surprise there. Alabama loves fighting with Mississippi for the title of “most racist state” (though they actually may be running neck and neck with “everything south of the Canadian border” if we’re keeping it real).

I find this amusing, not just because of the abiding ridiculousness of the holiday itself—which for me and most black people is a dressed-up way of reveling in institutional racism and anti-blackness (contrary to claims of “love of heritage”)—but because I just so happen to be in Alabama today, Monday, for a press preview of a memorial and museum dedicated to those both forgotten and annihilated through acts of racial terror across the country, and I will touch this holiest site on … Confederate Memorial Day…

… [H]ere in America, the God some trust is not on the dollar bill, it is the dollar bill. Here, as we all were whispered songs of “sweet lands of liberty,” black Americans perished in a nightmare of running blood and burning flesh and mass rape for pleasure and profit; that story all but erased from history and replaced with men playing war games, re-enacting so-called acts of valor for an indefensible premise…

The national lynching memorial, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, will stand atop a hill, in remembrance of the more than 4,000 victims of racial terror on U.S. soil, which the Montgomery, Ala.-based Equal Justice Institute has meticulously tracked for six years.

The accompanying Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, located in a former slave warehouse, will also tell the tale of our sojourn here: from enslavement to widespread public executions, to Jim Crow, to the continued violence against black bodies through mass incarceration and police violence.

The museum and memorial are but two drops in a bucket recognizing the true “legacy” of this nation; it’s a befitting tribute to those who weren’t able to throw up statues and establish holidays, their bodies sometimes snatched and ripped apart for keepsakes. It finally acknowledges, in a lasting way, what this country wrought upon its literal children, drafted into another war they never signed up for, but one in which they certainly perished, strange fruit hanging from poplar trees…

 
Fred Hiatt, in the Washington Post:

In the Riverfront Park of this state capital, you will find a series of panels depicting the city’s history. They will tell you when the first white settler arrived, how riverboats transformed Montgomery into a trading hub for cotton “and many other important commodities,” and how the city became the cradle of the Confederacy.

They will not tell you that the most important of those other commodities was human beings.

It is the sort of lacuna, says Bryan Stevenson, that allows people to “achieve political victories by celebrating the greatness of America.”

“The question is, which decade are black Americans supposed to want to relive?”
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Monday Night Open Thread: Congrats to Colin Kaepernick

From GQ:

Since being named GQ‘s Citizen of the Year, Colin Kaepernick has received Sports Illustrated‘s Muhammed Ali Legacy Award and the Eason More Courageous Advocate Award from the ACLU. Now, Amnesty International has awarded Kaepernick with highest distinction the organization has, the Ambassador of Conscience Award…

Kaepernick accepted the award—which has gone previously to Belafonte, artist and activist Ai Weiwei, Malala Yousafzai, and Nelson Mandela—on Saturday, where he delivered remarks condemning the brutality committed against minorities by the U.S. criminal justice system…

Meanwhile, Kaepernick has completed his promised $1 million in donations despite being blackballed by the NFL.



A Quick Follow On Regarding How The New York Times Inaccurately Framed The Coverage Of Secretary Clinton

I just want to make a quick follow on to Anne Laurie’s post by getting to the real meat of the issue that the New York Times framed the reporting on Secretary Clinton from 23 July 2015 forward by publishing an inaccurate story with a thoroughly misleading headline. Leave all the self defensiveness of different NY Times reporters aside. It is all sound and fury signifying nothing but the all too human self defensiveness when someone is involved with a major screw up.

Since this is going to be long, here’s the Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) since 1/2 the post is going to be after the page jump.

Bottom Line Up Front

  • The New York Times wrote an inaccurate story with a completely misleading headline that framed all future reporting on this issue and which also further framed Secretary Clinton as criminal in her behavior as Secretary of State.
  • As a result the New York Times blew the larger story, which is that US governmental IT is so bad and lagging, not to mention insecure, that utilizing a private server was both not prohibited according to the rules in place at the time that Secretary Clinton became Secretary of State, and that it still isn’t much better.
  • That the real political question, if there really was one, was about political calculus and optics. As in should Secretary Clinton have been considering the potential future political optics when deciding to go with the personal server if she was still considering running for President again in the future?*
  • Reporters, both at the New York Times and other newspapers, networks, and/or platforms DID NOT then and DO NOT now understand classification, classification issues, nor the classification review that occurs when a FOIA request is made!
  • Political reporters did not realize then, and still do not realize now, that they were being manipulated to achieve the aims of Judicial Watch in an attempt to achieve Judicial Watch’s political goals in regard to both Secretary Clinton and the 2016 election.

And now on to the actual post.

The real issue here is that the New York Times got the initial reporting wrong, used a terribly misleading headline, and that almost three years later seemingly NO ONE in the news media, especially the US political news media, still has any understanding of how classification works! This whole mess is the result of reporters not bothering to learn, or acting as if they don’t know, how the actual Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process works, including classification review. That whenever a FOIA request is made a review is done to determine if classified information can now be declassified and released pursuant to the request. And, equally importantly, that material that was deemed unclassified at the time it was created and/or transmitted should now be retroactively up classified as a result of changed circumstances. Nor did anyone bother to actually investigate that all of this resulted from Judicial Watch weaponizing the FOIA process in an attempt to create just this type of situation, which it could then exploit the political news media in order to achieve Judicial Watch’s own political goals.

On 23 July 2015, the Times then public editor, Margaret Sullivan, wrote an article delineating what and how the Times reporting had gotten wrong:

The story certainly seemed like a blockbuster: A criminal investigation of Hillary Rodham Clinton by the Justice Department was being sought by two federal inspectors general over her email practices while secretary of state.

It’s hard to imagine a much more significant political story at this moment, given that she is the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for president.

The story – a Times exclusive — appeared high on the home page and the mobile app late Thursday and on Friday and then was displayed with a three-column headline on the front page in Friday’s paper. The online headline read “Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email,” very similar to the one in print.

But aspects of it began to unravel soon after it first went online. The first major change was this: It wasn’t really Mrs. Clinton directly who was the focus of the request for an investigation. It was more general: whether government information was handled improperly in connection with her use of a personal email account.

Much later, The Times backed off the startling characterization of a “criminal inquiry,” instead calling it something far tamer sounding: it was a “security” referral.

And the evolving story, which began to include a new development, simply replaced the older version. That development was that several instances of classified information had been found in Mrs. Clinton’s personal email – although, in fairness, it’s doubtful whether the information was marked as classified when she sent or received those emails. Eventually, a number of corrections were appended to the online story, before appearing in print in the usual way – in small notices on Page A2.

But you can’t put stories like this back in the bottle – they ripple through the entire news system.

So it was, to put it mildly, a mess. As a result, I’ve been spending the last couple of days asking how this could happen and how something similar can be prevented in the future. I’ve spoken to the executive editor, Dean Baquet; to a top-ranking editor involved with the story, Matt Purdy; and to the two reporters, Matt Apuzzo and Michael S. Schmidt.

The story developed quickly on Thursday afternoon and evening, after tips from various sources, including on Capitol Hill. The reporters had what Mr. Purdy described as “multiple, reliable, highly placed sources,” including some “in law enforcement.” I think we can safely read that as the Justice Department.

The sources said not only was there indeed a referral but also that it was directed at Mrs. Clinton herself, and that it was a criminal referral. And that’s how The Times wrote it initially.

“We got it wrong because our very good sources had it wrong,” Mr. Purdy told me. “That’s an explanation, not an excuse. We have an obligation to get facts right and we work very hard to do that.”

By Friday afternoon, the Justice Department issued a terse statement, saying that there had been a referral related to the potential compromise of classified information, stating clearly that it was not a criminal referral. Mr. Purdy says he remains puzzled about why the initial inaccurate information was confirmed so clearly. (Update: Other news outlets also got confirmation of the criminal referral as they followed The Times’s story. They did not report, as an earlier version of this post suggested, that she herself was the target of the referral.)

I want to highlight something that I quoted from Sullivan above because I think it is highly significant:

(Update: Other news outlets also got confirmation of the criminal referral as they followed The Times’s story. They did not report, as an earlier version of this post suggested, that she herself was the target of the referral.)

Sullivan clearly recognized that The Times reporting set up all the subsequent reporting. This is significant. Had The Times gotten it right, then the framing would not have been set that there were two criminal referrals for Secretary Clinton made by two Inspectors General regarding her handling of emails. The Times was the initial point of transmission, as the paper of record, for this inaccurate information.

Here’s the actual truth about classified information transmitted to Secretary Clinton by email and therefore through the Clinton server. It was provided, under oath, by former FBI Director Comey to the House Oversight Committee in his public testimony in July 2016. (emphasis mine)

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Breaking: Waffle House Shooter Safely in Custody

Astonishingly (not), the guy who (allegedly) murdered four people of color was apprehended with no injuries other than to his dignity. From the Washington Post:

The announcement came nearly 34 hours after the eruption of violence in the Waffle House, the latest public place suddenly consumed by blood and terror after a volley of gunfire. A little more than an hour before taking him into custody, police had acknowledged having “no confirmed sightings” of him and saying they were not even sure if he remained in the area.

That changed suddenly when police received a tip that someone matching Reinking’s description was seen heading into a wooded area about a mile from the Waffle House. Detectives marched into the wooden area and found Reinking, who was taken into custody without any incident, they said. When he was captured, police said Reinking was wearing a backpack that held a semiautomatic firearm as well ammunition.

Even with the suspected shooter alive and in police custody, what could have motivated the massacre remained frustratingly unknown, authorities said. Reinking requested a lawyer after his arrest and refused to answer questions or make a statement, Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, said at a news briefing.

While Reinking was at large, police had warned he was dangerous and said he showed “signs of significant instability,” Aaron had said at a news briefing earlier Monday…

Last year, police records show that Reinking went to a local pool in Illinois wearing a pink dress and swam in his underwear while coaxing life guards to fight him. Soon after, he traveled to the nation’s capital and tried to cross a security barrier near the White House, declaring himself a “sovereign citizen” who wanted to speak with President Trump.

After an investigation by the FBI office in Springfield, Ill., state and local officials confiscated Reinking’s guns and revoked his firearm license in August. The weapons were given to Reinking’s father, who agreed to keep them secure and away from Reinking, officials said. But the father later acknowledged giving the weapons back to his son, police said, who had moved to Tennessee.

Under Illinois law, certain confiscated guns can be released to a family member, but Reinking could not lawfully possess the weapons in that state. Matthew E. Espenshade, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Memphis division, on Monday said that “every federal resource was brought to bear” in Reinking’s case after his arrest at the White House and the FBI assessment…

More recently, police said, Reinking had stolen a BMW from a dealership in suburban Nashville just four days before the Waffle House shooting. He eluded police officers who later recovered the vehicle at his apartment complex…

Not to minimize the genuine tragedy of an unprepared family attempting to cope with mental illness, but HOLY TRICKSTER GOD can you imagine someone other than a white man pulling stunts like this without significant repercussions? And, yes, I truly hope his old man faces serious charges for handing weapons of mass murder back to a ‘loved one’ he certainly knew wasn’t capable of ‘using them safely’!



Open Thread: Wide-Screen Drama

Ava Duvernay is responsible for Selma, so she’s clearly up to the topic, and she’s gonna get a lot of attention as she works on her new film. And every snippet of news about it is going to drive Lord Smallgloves even further out of his tiny mind.
 
Speaking of wilding, Robert Schooley has some quotes from The Madness of King George III


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And Now A Word From The Home Office: Russia Announces The US Position On Future US Sanctions Against Russia

The defenestration of Ambassador Haley continues…

From Tass:

MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. The United States has notified Russia through its Embassy in Washington that it will not impose fresh sanctions against Russia for the time being, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry informed TASS on Wednesday.

“I can confirm that the US has notified the Russian embassy that there will be no new sanctions for some time,” he said.

The Washington Post’s Carole Leonnig confirmed this last night:

But it leaves an important question: who was informed first the Russian ambassador in DC or Ambassador Haley?

The US’s position on Russian sanctions has now been officially announced and confirmed by Russia through a Russian state news media outlet.

We are off the looking glass and through the map.

Stay clammy!

Open thread.



Alexandre Bissonnette Was Radicalized By A Who’s Who of American Right Wing Thought Leaders

Alexandre Bissonnette, the Canadian extreme right terrorist who attacked a Quebec City Mosque last year,was radicalized by a who’s who of American right wing thought leaders. Andy Riga from the Montreal Gazette has the details:

When will Ben Shapiro’s rabbi make a statement about how Bissonnette’s actions are unacceptable and that the speech of his congregant, Shapiro, is also outside the acceptable bounds of Modern Orthodox Judaism? How about John Nolte’s, Tucker Carlson’s, Ann Coulter’s, Kellyanne Conway’s, Laura Ingraham’s, Bret Baier’s, Stefan Molyneux’s, John Sexton’s, James Allsup’s, Neil Turner’s, Stephen Bannon’s, Ben Domenech’s, or Robert O’Neill’s priests or ministers or pastors make a statement that Bissonnette’s actions are unacceptable and that the speech of their congregants listed above are outside the acceptable bounds of Roman Catholicism or whatever version of Protestantism these fine, Christian souls practice? When will Breitbart’s or The Federalist’s or Fox News’s or Breitbart’s or Hot Air’s publishers and funders denounce their employees speech and its consequences?

If every Muslim has to denounce every act of terrorism done in the name of Islam, at the very least the spiritual leaders and employers and financial patrons of these enablers and promoters of anti-Muslim terrorism should have to do the same!

Free speech, especially the most controversial and inflammatory speech, is and should continue to be protected. That does NOT, however, mean that engaging in that speech doesn’t come with a price. The hatred, the vitriol, the bigotry, the extremism that these speakers and commenters and authors spew is rightly protected. Those protections do NOT absolve them of the responsibility for the all too predictable outcome of that speech.

Stay toasty!

Open thread.