Timekiller Open Thread: Trump/Pence None the Richer

This VP-announcement thing, it’s golden. Everybody wants a piece of it. No way is He, Trump gonna waste his big all-networks announcement if there’s any chance it will be preempted by “breaking news” from some place that is not even America. You media people can just suck on it…

Signals! The NYTimes:

Donald J. Trump’s campaign has signaled strongly to Republicans in Washington that he will pick Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, as his running mate, though Republicans caution the party’s mercurial presidential candidate may still backtrack on his apparent choice.

Mr. Trump’s advisers have told national Republican officials that they are preparing to make an announcement with Mr. Pence, according to three people with knowledge of the conversations, who were not authorized to discuss them publicly. His campaign has said that it will unveil a running mate for Mr. Trump in New York on Friday.

Mr. Pence, a former congressman and radio host, emerged over the last week as the strong favorite of Mr. Trump’s political advisers and senior officials in the Republican Party.

But Mr. Trump himself has sent conflicting signals in recent days, as he has subjected his potential running mates to a final round of screening. He addressed a rally in Indiana alongside Mr. Pence on Tuesday night and met privately with him several times…
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Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Eid Mubarak!

Per al Jazeera, Eid al-Fitr, the celebration at the end of Ramadan, starts today (started last night at sunset) in the US, UK, Canada, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

According to the British Independent:

On the first morning of the celebration, many gather in local mosques or open-air locations for special prayers called Salat al-Eid, and have breakfast.

Muslims put on their finest clothes for what will be their first daylight meal in a month. Some will exchange gifts, greeting cards and prepare special foods. Eid al-Fitr is to celebrate “the happiness which man feels after successfully completing an important task,” according to Al-Islam.

Gatherings will take place to mark the festival across the UK, including an event hosted by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in Trafalgar Square on 9 July. Highlights include prayers, a food festival, and Arabic arts.

Last year, a record-breaking 60,000 Muslims turned up in a Birmingham park to celebrate the end of Ramadan…

Speaking of London’s Mayor, here’s a mid-May anecdote from The Economist:

EVENTUALLY, every senior politician in Britain is invited to Buckingham Palace to join the Privy Council, the body that notionally advises the queen. In 2009 Sadiq Khan, then transport minister, was asked on which version of the Bible he wanted to swear his oath. He replied that, as a Muslim, he would like to use a Koran. Buckingham Palace had none, so he brought his own. Afterwards, when the palace tried to return it, he asked: “Can I leave it here for the next person?”

On May 5th Londoners voted to make Mr Khan their mayor. Except for the direct vote for the Portuguese and French presidents, he thus holds the biggest personal mandate in Europe. His landslide over the Conservatives (he took 57% of the vote to 43% for Zac Goldsmith, his posh Tory rival) was a rebuke to hardliners of all sorts. At a stroke it became harder for Islamic State’s recruiters to tour public housing estates in Europe and convince young Muslims from immigrant backgrounds that they have no place in the liberal West. The de facto capital of that liberal West had just entrusted its future to a mosque-going, gay-marriage-supporting, proudly Muslim family man with precisely such a hinterland…

The Brexit vote was a speedbump, not a wall.

Apart from celebrating, what’s on the agenda for the day?








Open Thread: Pastor Dobson Has A Sad

James “Focus on the Family (While I Pick Your Pocket)” Dobson is very, very disappointed by all us haterz who cruelly mock his optimistic embrace of “baby Christian” Donald Trump…

And not just the unsaved Christianist-haters, either:

Poor saintly Mr. Dobson just wanted to remora Deadbeat Donald’s #WINNING grift while that shark is still moving — living off a host’s, uh, leftovers is an honorable tradition among his clan. How was he to know how rapidly the gilt would wear off the Trump scampaign, once it was exposed to the acid examination of non-believers?



Monday Morning Open Thread: Happy Summer Solstice!

comrade colette scout repose

From commentor Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

Here’s a new Balloon Juicer pet – we just got an adorable kitten. Scout is a 10-week-old tabby boy with blue eyes and an apparent need for no sleep at all. He’s busy teaching our old kitty Peter how to play again.

Action shot!

comrade colette scout action

Strawberry kitten for the full Strawberry Moon. Monday’s not really the best day for a big pagan party, which is why the prudent Swedes rescheduled theirs to next weekend. On the other hand, I have a bunch of strawberry starts that need to be transplanted into the front-yard strawberry pot this afternoon…

What else is on the agenda as we start another week?



Open Thread: Return of the Cruz-ifiction Candidate

With the Democrats openly rebelling against the NRA (and the GOP candidate flailing on all fronts), a call went out in search of a New Hope. And guess who happened to be waiting by the phone…

From the Hill, yesterday:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) attended a confidential dinner with more than 20 top conservatives on Tuesday night to plan his comeback as a movement leader in the mold of Ronald Reagan.

The dinner was at the Virginia home of conservative activist Brent Bozell, and the agenda was to plot Cruz’s future and the future of the conservative movement.

The undertone of the dinner was about how to position Cruz for a future tilt at the presidency and to spearhead the conservative movement from his seat in the Senate, those in attendance said.

Dining with Cruz and his chief of staff, Paul Teller, were some of the most powerful figures in the conservative movement.

The spectrum of economic, national security and social conservatives seated at the table included Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, Club for Growth President David McIntosh, direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie, National Rifle Association board member and former Cincinnati Mayor Ken Blackwell, and Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, sources confirmed…

Many of the leaders at the dinner want Cruz to run for president again, and they are viewing Cruz’s unsuccessful 2016 run as similar to Reagan’s failed attempt in 1976 to unseat the incumbent Republican president, Gerald Ford…

Reagan gave the grifting bigots of the “Moral Majority” a comfy seat at the top table, back in the day when AIDS was still a mysterious new “gay plague”. And as far as these good Christianists are concerned, it’s not as though the Orlando massacre involved, you know, actual American people — just pawns of the devil
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ISIL Can’t Kill Us (But They Can Encourage Us to Kill Each Other)

Charles P. Pierce, in Esquire:

[B]efore we start talking about banning anyone from a Muslim country, or even before we wring our hands again about how easy it is to get your hands on an AR-15, a weapon that is built for, and exists only, to kill people in this country, we should all accept that, for all the advancements that have been made in ensuring equal rights for our fellow citizens who are gay, there is still a kind of virulent hate that we can see in its more polite forms in our legislatures and some of our courtrooms, and now we can see it in its most raw and unreconstructed form in our nightclubs.

The events in Orlando do nothing more than demolish our most treasured illusions about ourselves and our country and—most trivially—our politics. How many of the congresscritters now sending “thoughts and prayers” to the victims in Orlando, and to their families, spent a lot of time in their day jobs making the everyday lives of those victims more miserable than they had to be? There’s still an audience for clean-shaven, well-tailored bigotry of all faiths.

Yes, it appears that Mateen might have come to his violence through his religion, which will make him no different from practically any homophobe—including, I would point out, Eric Rudolph, who bombed the Atlanta Olympics. Allegedly, shortly before he opened fire, he called the local 911 operator and “pledged allegiance” (whatever that means to a guy walking into a club intending to slaughter 50 people) to ISIL, which has claimed responsibility, which is what it would do, under the circumstances.
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Parens-thetical Racism: It’s All Fun & Games Until Someone Gets Beaten Up in An Alley

The excitable fella with all the emoticons is probably, one hopes, just another Reddit-fueled edgelord trolling for lulz. The problem is, how do the rest of us tell them apart from the genuine racists and psychopaths? Here’s the Guardian‘s explanation of the extra parentheses now being sported by all the best twitter handles:

US antisemitism watchdog, the Anti-Defamation League, has added the “(((echo)))” symbol, used online by white supremacists to single out Jews, to its online database of hate symbols.

The group’s decision comes days after Google removed a Chrome extension that was being used by antisemites to add triple parentheses around the names of prominent Jewish public figures including Michael Bloomberg and New York Times journalist Jonathan Weisman….

The intersection of old-fashioned white supremacy and antisemitism with tech-savvy online groups centred around websites such as 4chan and Reddit has given rise to a movement loosely termed the “alt-right”. The echo symbol is just the latest artefact of that group’s thinking to burst into the mainstream, thanks largely to an article in late May from the NYT’s Weisman highlighting its use.

But the denigration of Jews online extends beyond the Trump supporters highlighted by Weisman. An investigation by Mic revealed how widespread the symbol’s use has become, largely below the radar of the mainstream.

“To the public, the symbol is not easily searchable on most sites and social networks; search engines strip punctuation from results,” wrote the publication’s reporters, Cooper Fleishman and Anthony Smith. “This means that trolls committed to uncovering, labelling and harassing Jewish users can do so in relative obscurity: No one can search those threats to find who’s sending them.”

The pair trace the origins of the symbol back to far right blog Right Stuff. “In Right Stuff propaganda, you’ll often read that Jewish names ‘echo’. According to the blog’s lexicon page, ‘all Jewish surnames echo throughout history’. In other words, the supposed damage caused by Jewish people reverberates from decade to decade.” The parentheses are used to imply that same echo textually…

Of course, the people who hate “Jews” this much aren’t any too happy about people of color (especially the one now occupying “their” White House), foreigners (especially the ones with ‘funny names’), “sexual deviants”, uppity women, or anyone otherwise “Aryan” who chooses to support the untermenschen. (Hillary’s “mixed blood” grandchildren are deplored as one more example of her perfidy; but then, Trump has Jewish grandkids too… )

If you’re curious, Jeff Goldberg (yes, I know), at the Atlantic, has “A Brief Introduction to the Pro-Holocaust Twitterverse”:

mengelematters troll via atlantic