Excellent Read: “Elizabeth Warren & Tracee Ellis Ross on the Road to Activism”

My favorite Senator has been rude to Trump again, in a Washington Post op-ed:

Cratering in the polls, besieged by sexual assault allegations and drowning in his own disgusting rhetoric, Donald Trump has been reduced to hollering that November’s election is “rigged” against him. His proof? It looks like he’s going to lose.

Senior Republican leaders are scrambling to distance themselves from this dangerous claim. But Trump’s argument didn’t spring from nowhere. It’s just one more symptom of a long-running effort by Republicans to delegitimize Democratic voters, appointees and leaders. For years, this disease has infected our politics. It cannot be cured until Republican leaders rethink their approach to modern politics…

For years, Republican leaders have pushed the lie that voter fraud is a huge issue. In such states as Kansas and North Carolina , and across the airwaves of right-wing talk radio and Fox News, Republican voters have been fed exaggerated and imagined stories about fraud. Interestingly, all that fraud seems to plague only urban neighborhoods, minority communities, college campuses and other places where large numbers of people might vote for Democrats. The purpose of this manufactured hysteria is obvious: to delegitimize Democratic voters and justify Republican efforts to suppress their votes…

… Which reminded me that I’ve been saving an NYTimes article, one of their Table for Three series, by Philip Galanes:

Tracee Ellis Ross may be working 14 hours a day in Los Angeles on her hit TV show, “black-ish.” “But when Elizabeth Warren says she’ll have dinner with you,” Ms. Ross said, walking into a suite at the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, “you get on a plane. I have a million questions for her.”

And from the moment Senator Warren entered the lobby, friendly to all but racewalking toward the elevator, she was happy to offer answers: breaking down complex problems into plain-spoken choices, engaging everyone in sight. When a woman on the elevator said, “You look familiar,” Ms. Warren introduced herself, shook her hand and asked how her evening was going…

Ms. Ross, 43, has also established herself as a powerful advocate, particularly for self-esteem among black girls in a series of TV specials, “Black Girls Rock,” and through social media. For eight seasons, beginning in 2000, she starred in the sitcom “Girlfriends,” for which she won two NAACP Image Awards.

But her greatest exposure and acclaim have come with her starring role on “black-ish,” about an extended African-American family… For her performance, Ms. Ross was nominated for an Emmy for lead actress in a comedy. She is the first African-American woman to be nominated in the category in 30 years, and only the fifth in Emmy history…

Philip Galanes: One reason you’re both such powerful advocates — for the middle class, for self-esteem — is that you’ve fused who you are with the issues you care about.

Elizabeth Warren: Well, I know who I am, and I know what I fight for. Whether we’re talking about making college a little more affordable — or health care or social security — I want to be as sharp as I can be because I know how tough things are. That’s my opportunity now.

PG: It reminds me of your great line: “I was brought up on the ragged edge of the middle class.” What made it “ragged”?

EW: Because it was so hard to hold on to. My mother clung to it — “We are middle class” — because our grasp was so tenuous. There were times we were and times we weren’t.

Tracee Ellis Ross: I feel like I’m on the inside for the first time. Inside the castle. I have an Emmy nomination! And I’ve been in this career a long time. I’m 43, not some ingénue who just stumbled into this. Much of my role has been as an advocate for self-esteem and humanity. The beauty of my work is that I get to unzip something that people are afraid to touch. To make them more comfortable in their own skin.
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Saturday Evening Cartoons Open Thread: Sen. Warren Versus the WF Banksters


(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)

For the record: Those people now wishcasting about how wonderful a presidential candidate Senator Warren would’ve been are making an error on the scale of predicting Michael Jordan would be as dominant a professional baseball player as he was on the basketball court. My senior Senator (may she be in office for many years to come) knows her skill set, and while that skill set would not seem to include running for national office, it very much involves publicly banging around white-collar financial criminals as a teaching lesson for all of us.

I think the nation’s political cartoonists were just overjoyed to have a topic that was not Donald Trump. How many ways can one graphically express the concept HE’LL STEAL EVERYTHING HE CAN PRY LOOSE BEFORE HE KILLS US ALL YOU OBLIVIOUS IDIOTS before succumbing to despair? But a robber baron named Stumpf fronting a company with a stagecoach-full-of-bullion logo, now…

Speaking of Mr. Stumpf: Does anyone know why he was wearing a massive bandage on his right hand/forearm? Were we supposed to believe the ungrateful underlings responsible for the ‘phantom accounts’ scheme had bitten the hand that fed them?


(Matt Davies via GoComics.com)

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Saturday Morning Open Thread: “Basket of Deplorables”

Betty Cracker’s right — that would be a great name for a band:

… “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables’. Right?” Clinton said to applause and laughter from the crowd of supporters at an LGBT for Hillary fundraiser where Barbra Streisand performed. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.”

Clinton then noted, as she has several times in the past, that Trump has “given voice” to white supremacist and anti-Semitic voices on the Internet.

“He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric,” Clinton said. “Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

Clinton then transitioned to a more positive message, calling for empathy for the “other half” of Trump’s supporters who feel left behind by the government and the economy.

“That other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change,” Clinton said. “It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different.

“They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead end,” Clinton said. “Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.”…

The Trump campaign and its enablers promptly leapt for their mic-equipped fainting couches, appalled at the very idea that an American politician might reject the support of people like this:

… In a windowless room in a swanky hotel half a block from the White House on Friday afternoon, three of the most visible leaders of the Alt-Right movement held a two-hour press conference to discuss their affection for Donald Trump and their hopes for a white homeland. The white supremacist Alt-Right movement has grown over the last eight years or so, incubated in racist forums like StormFront and meme-loving corners of the internet like 4chan and 8chan. Its members generally share a disdain for political correctness, feminism, zionism, Jews in general, immigration (especially Hispanic and Muslim immigration), and anyone who criticizes them for holding these views.

The three Alt-Right leaders who gathered in D.C. this afternoon made two things very clear: They think white people are genetically predisposed to be more moral and intelligent than black people, and they do not want to share their envisioned utopian ethno-state with folks of the Jewish persuasion. There’s some disagreement in the Alt-Right on what they refer to as “the Jewish question.” But the big take-away was that Jews are suspicious.

Jared Taylor, who founded the white supremacist American Renaissance site, explained the Alt-Right as predicated entirely on the belief that some races are inherently superior to others—the movement, he said, is “in unanimity” in rejecting “the idea that the races are basically equivalent and interchangeable.” There are genetic differences in race that make some races more ethical and intelligent than others, he said. That’s what the Alt Right is all about…

Apart from the tragicomical version of the Great Sorting now taking place, what’s on the agenda today?

Side Note Open Thread: Roger Stone, Less Than Meets the Eye

Kudos to Media Matters for spotting this, which might’ve gotten some traction this morning if Trump hadn’t decided to start calling for his supporters to shoot people:

QUESTIONER: With regard to the October surprise, what would be your forecast on that given what Julian Assange has intimated he’s going to do?

ROGER STONE: Well, it could be any number of things. I actually have communicated with Assange. I believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation but there’s no telling what the October surprise may be.

Stone was working for Richard Nixon when the original October surprise may or may not have tipped the election to the Repubs (at the cost of many innocent lives, but what does that matter to the GOP?). He’s never stopped using that particular street-cred tidbit to inflate his resume, and his fees. Anybody can say he’s “communicated” with Assange — if you include public comments about the man, half the people on this blog have ‘communicated’ with Assange — but anything beyond posting YAY JULIAN YOU GO GUY on social media implies (a) Roger Stone has access; (b) Julian Assange cares about what Roger Stone wants; (c) Julian Assange can be asked/forced/bargained into compliance with anyone’s agenda other than Julian Assange’s (if that). It’s bullshit, fed to an audience eager to pay for it.

In semi-related news, I still {heart} my senior Senator…

I’m collecting tweets about “Second Amendment solutions” for an aggregation post later tonight, incidentally. Brace yourselves…

Elizabeth Warren & Hillary Clinton in Cincinnati

Let’s see if this CNN clip will work (looks fine on my screen, but who knos the ways of FYWP?). Just in case, here’s the link.

Separate videos (where I saw this first) available at Mother Jones:

Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren took a little trip to Ohio today to see the sights, do some antiquing, and eviscerate Donald Trump…

They have a pretty good buddy cop situation going on here. Maybe Clinton will make her VP after all?

Sigh. Why must y’all keep trying to steal my senior Senator? (Yes, I will most certainly reconcile myself if necessary, but I’d love to see Senator Warren leading the Senate under President Clinton.)

Local news outlet Cleveland.com:

Standing under large art deco murals of workers at Cincinnati’s Union Terminal, Clinton and Warren called for regulations on Wall Street, punishing companies that send jobs overseas, making college debt-free and raising taxes on the rich…

“We’ve got to go big and we’ve got to go bold,” Clinton said to a crowd of hundreds, their loud cheers amplified in the cavernous terminal lobby. “We need to take the frustration, the fear, the anxiety and yes, the anger. And after we have vented it, we’ve got to work together.”

Clinton pledged: “I will not raise taxes on the middle class. But we are going to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy.”
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Thursday Evening Open Thread: Be of Good Cheer!

From the hometown paper, the Boston Globe:

Senator Elizabeth Warren is planning to endorse Hillary Clinton tonight in an appearance on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, according to a Warren adviser.

Warren moved up her timeline to endorse Clinton — she had initially planned to do it next week…

Apart from some hard-earned celebration, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

Open Thread: Good Work, Senator Warren!

Senator Elizabeth Warren went to the Senate floor on June 8, 2016 to call for unanimous consent votes for 15 federal district court nominees who have moved through the Judiciary Committee but have not been scheduled confirmation votes by the Republican majority. Senator Mitch McConnell objected to the unanimous consent request.

Listen to the whole thing. *This* is why we need to keep Elizabeth Warren in the Senate.

Orrin Hatch gets a cameo, looking like a man who’s just been given a choice between a colonoscopy without anesthesia and a total orchiectomy. And (yes!) in her closing statement, Sen. Warren goes there…