Open Thread: Appreciating the 1619 Project for Its Detractors

I’m nowhere near finished reading the NYTimes‘ whole 1619 Project (wish I’d found a print edition yesterday, frankly), but IMO it will have an impact on The Discourse similar to that of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Atlantic article. And, yes, one sure signifier of its importance is the volume and intensity of the hatred directed against it by the Usual Suspects (few, if any, of whom could’ve read so much as Nikole Hannah-Jones’ introductory essay before taking their grievances public). The pushback was, thankfully, immediate…

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Economic Terrorism Open Thread: Eat the Rich… ‘s Taxes

Didn’t find a space to post this during Davos, but now Bregman’s work looks to be going viral, as the Youngs say…

Hard to think of a more fitting poster child for ‘Expropriate Unearned Wealth’ than Tucker Carlson, yes?

More on this topic, from the Guardian:

No, wealth isn’t created at the top. It is merely devoured there (May 2017)

Fightback against the billionaires: the radicals taking on the global elite (Feb 2019)

Terrifying Read: “‘Nothing on this page is real’”

It is, in truth, one heckuva story. Neither of the main characters have anything but the best of intentions, and yet… Kudos to the Washington Post for demonstrating “How lies become truth in online America“:

NORTH WATERBORO, Maine — The only light in the house came from the glow of three computer monitors, and Christopher Blair, 46, sat down at a keyboard and started to type. His wife had left for work and his children were on their way to school, but waiting online was his other community, an unreality where nothing was exactly as it seemed. He logged onto his website and began to invent his first news story of the day…

He had launched his new website on Facebook during the 2016 presidential campaign as a practical joke among friends — a political satire site started by Blair and a few other liberal bloggers who wanted to make fun of what they considered to be extremist ideas spreading throughout the far right. In the last two years on his page, America’s Last Line of Defense, Blair had made up stories about California instituting sharia, former president Bill Clinton becoming a serial killer, undocumented immigrants defacing Mount Rushmore, and former president Barack Obama dodging the Vietnam draft when he was 9. “Share if you’re outraged!” his posts often read, and thousands of people on Facebook had clicked “like” and then “share,” most of whom did not recognize his posts as satire. Instead, Blair’s page had become one of the most popular on Facebook among Trump-supporting conservatives over 55.
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Repub Horrorshow Open Thread: A Clown Car Full of Pennywises

The entire Republican party has devolved into an authoritarian cult where aging white men vow to destroy the world to protect the purity of their essence. And now everybody within earshot of the national news knows it!

Mr. Charles P. Pierce, “I am living in the middle of a pornographic Allen Drury novel—Advise And Lack Of Consent:

Anybody who tells you that they know what happens next is lying. So far, El Caudillo Del Mar-A-Lago is making brave noises. Senator Dianne Feinstein wants all hearings into the nomination postponed until an FBI investigation into this mess is concluded but, at the moment, there’s no stomach for what an FBI investigation might reveal. Senator Mitch McConnell, who warned the White House that Kavanaugh would be a tough sell, knew about the Ramirez allegations a week ago, so it is fair to assume that, whatever else may be out there, he already knows it, and yet he told the Values Voters Summit last week that he was going to “plow on through” with the nomination, which is a very unfortunate metaphor in this context. In addition, McConnell’s response to the news that the latest allegations were going to come up was to try and put the nomination into hyperdrive. However, McConnell is also pragmatist enough to know when to cut bait. If the Republicans decide to pull this nomination, it has to happen early in the week. Waiting until Wednesday—or, worse, until Thursday, when Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford are scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee—is completely untenable…

Fox News reporter:

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Texas Brawlin’ Open Thread: Betting on Beto

You know the Repubs are worried when they start the blatant ratfvcking this early. Per the Dallas News:

A person masquerading as a volunteer for Beto O’Rourke apparently sent text messages to voters Wednesday to give the impression the Democrat’s Senate campaign was seeking help to take “undocumented immigrants” to the polls.

A spokesman for O’Rourke’s campaign attributed the texts to “an impostor,” the Austin American-Statesman reported, and said campaign officials were looking into what happened.

“Hi, it’s Patsy here w/Beto for Texas,” the text said. “Our records indicate that you’re a supporter. We are in search of volunteers to help transport undocumented immigrants to polling booths so that they will be able [sic] vote. Would you be able to support this grassroots effort?”

Word of the messages quickly circulated on social media, prompting the campaign to follow up with another text message explaining that the impostor had signed on as a volunteer and then sent the unauthorized messages…

Even Chris ‘the Mad Bitcher’ Cillizza is excited — “Yes, the Texas Senate race is for real”:

Cillizza: It’s post-Labor Day. Is this race as close as most polling suggests?

[Texas Tribune CEO Evan] Smith:
Well, it’s close, and more importantly it’s closer than nearly every general election race in Texas has been for several decades. There is general agreement among pollsters and political observers that O’Rourke is trailing by mid-high single digits. By contrast, the Democrat running for governor is behind by twice that amount or more. O’Rourke has raised more money than Cruz and has more cash on hand, meaning can he get his name ID up and his message out in a very expensive state. He is already getting tons of free media. But Texas is a red state, and that’s the mountain he has to scale. The odds are still against him, though they’ve improved…

Cillizza: Cruz seems to be worried. They have started attacking Beto over being in a band, wearing a dress and a past (known) DUI. Is this a sudden panic?
Smith: They’re definitely sounding the alarm. Not sure it’s panic quite yet. O’Rourke is still relatively unknown, so they’re trying to define him in character terms before he can define himself. Oldest trick in the book. They’re betting that his younger, wilder days will be a turn-off. Hmm, where have I heard that phrase before? Oh, right, George W. Bush. Who won the presidency. For this strategy to be successful, you’d have to believe there are voters who are toying with voting for O’Rourke but won’t because HE WAS IN A PUNK ROCK BAND. I’m not sure this is a “Footloose” election cycle…

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