Confronting the Threat

We — and by “we,” I mean the world — have a problem: the global white supremacist movement and its capacity to commit horrific acts of violence. Here’s how the POTUS is handling it today:

Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro. The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well. Fox …..

….must stay strong and fight back with vigor. Stop working soooo hard on being politically correct, which will only bring you down, and continue to fight for our Country. The losers all want what you have, don’t give it to them. Be strong & prosper, be weak & die! Stay true….

….to the people that got you there. Keep fighting for Tucker, and fight hard for @JudgeJeanine. Your competitors are jealous – they all want what you’ve got – NUMBER ONE. Don’t hand it to them on a silver platter. They can’t beat you, you can only beat yourselves!

Pirro was suspended or shit-canned because of her latest anti-Muslim rant, in which she said that since Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota wears a hijab, Omar is a follower of “sharia law,” which Pirro says is “antithetical to the U.S. Constitution.”

Carlson is under fire this week because of racist, sexist gibbering newly surfaced from old appearances on the “Bubba the Love Sponge” radio show. But Carlson has been busily mainstreaming white nationalist garbage for years from his perch at Fox News.

After the Christchurch massacre, Trump tweeted “warmest sympathy and best wishes” to New Zealand. He has uttered not a word of comfort to the Muslim community there or here.

No one who has been paying attention found that surprising since the source of Trump’s political power is the ability to gin up hate through racist, sexist, xenophobic demagoguery.

Still, since Trump got a shout-out in the terrorist’s manifesto, the Beltway press asked Trump directly if we have a white supremacy problem, and he said no.

ACTING Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was trotted out on the Sunday shows to defend Trump’s inexcusable response. Here’s what he told Chris Wallace when asked why Trump wouldn’t just deliver a speech condemning white supremacy and anti-Muslim bigotry:

“The president is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to say that.”

Meanwhile, Trump was giving Fox News a pep talk on Twitter to make sure his favorite anti-Muslim bigots and “white genocide” conspiracy theorists don’t get fired. So there’s your answer, Mulvaney.

Now for something completely different: Pete Buttigieg’s beautiful letter to the Muslim community in South Bend after the New Zealand terrorist attack.

This is how a great leader speaks to a shaken community. And that’s how we’ll confront the rising threat of white supremacist violence if we ever recover from this deeply shameful episode in our national history — with unity, and with the decency of people like Pete Buttigieg.

Open Thread: Pray for Nebraska

And if anyone has more concrete suggestions about helping, please leave a comment!

Commentor Jay Noble, last night:

Haven’t seen it mentioned here but Nebraska took a beating from Mother Nature this week. From Central NE to the Missouri river has become an archipelago due to failed dams, levees and washed out bridges and roads. Over 60,000 people evacuated, 53 of 93 counties declared disaster areas, 2 fatalities so far. Right now, many are venting that MSM is ignoring them because “fly over country” and “Trump deplorables”.

This does need a some more coverage because it’s all headed down stream both literally and figuratively. Literally all that stuff – inculding at least one fair-sized sewage treatment plant – will go into the Missouri River and thus into the Mississippi. If the Keystone Pipeline had been built . . . Figuratively, it will be hitting pocket books at the supermarket. Most of that area is corn and soybeans. While planting season is still a little ways off, whole farms worth of tractors and trucks and tools got swept away. And this is calving season with calves at theirs most vunerable…

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Sunday Morning Open Thread: Arctic Adventure Iditarod Tales

[Warning: Harry Smith’s audio is pretty loud]

Everyone who’s lived with multiple dogs knows this stalemate — although most of the time, the consequences are smaller:

Nicolas Petit of Girdwood, Alaska, and his 10 dogs were just off the Shaktoolik check point on a stretch of Bering Sea ice when a disagreement between two dogs, a veteran and a younger dog, caused the sled to pause, then completely halt, when Petit raised his voice to discipline the animals.

The 38-year-old’s sled earlier in the day left Shaktoolik in the lead “like a rocket,” he told local television station KTUU. But then one of his dogs wanted to stop for a bathroom break and an older dog jumped on top of it in disagreement. Petit raised his voice and it spooked the rest of the team, which refused to mush.

“Everybody heard daddy yelling. Which doesn’t happen. And then they wouldn’t go anymore. Anywhere,” he said to KTUU.

Petit took his dogs back to a cabin at Shaktoolik to rest, but later decided to drop out of the race entirely for the good of his dogs.

“They’re all fine, they all ate good, no orthopedic issue. Just a head thing,” he said Monday.
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Saturday Night Dance Party Open Thread

Is this Zumba? ‘Cuz if it is, we may have found the exercise class Cole has been looking for all these years…

Sorry, You Don’t Get Any Fucking Guns


One day after 28-year-old white supremacist Brenton Tarrant killed 49 people in a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated that her country’s “gun laws will change.”

Attorney General David Parker took those statements further, announcing at a vigil at Auckland’s Aotea Square on Saturday that New Zealand will ban semi-automatic rifles.

These statements were praised by gun control advocates in the United States, who have seen lawmakers in Washington fail to enact gun reform time and time again after mass shootings.

Apparently, we are the only country who can’t figure this shit out. I’m always reminded of this Jim Jeffries skit on guns:

Saturday Afternoon Open Thread

Here’s a tricolored heron with its breakfast:

I think the luckless critter that was on the menu is a frog; my husband suspects it’s a crawdad.

Fun facts about tricolored herons: the male builds a rough frame for the nest, and the female does the trim work, adding smaller sticks, grass, etc. IIRC, the plumage is the same for both sexes. The blue skin around the bill means he or she is ready for romance!

Open thread!

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Doubling Down

During a normal presidency — remember those? — this kind of legislative breakdown would be front-page news for at least a week. Per the Washington Post:

President Trump issued the first veto of his presidency Friday to secure federal money for a border wall that he promised as a candidate and considers a crucial priority for his reelection, capping a week of confrontation with both political parties…

Rebuffed by Congress in his demands for billions for the wall, Trump had declared a national emergency at the Mexican border last month, a move that would allow the president to circumvent the will of lawmakers and spend billions on border barriers.

Congress backed a resolution of disapproval, with the Senate voting 59-to-41 on Thursday for the measure. Twelve Republicans defied Trump and joined Democrats on the legislation.

The rare rebuke from members of his own party was symbolically important, but Congress does not have the votes to overturn Trump’s veto. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) immediately announced a March 26 vote to try, saying that “House Republicans will have to choose between their partisan hypocrisy and their sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution.”…
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Wee Hours Open Thread

I just can’t with the 80s music, so here’s a good-looking woodpecker instead:

And here’s a crappy photo of a Sandhill crane on the wing:

It was yelling its head off, as they usually do when they fly, at least around here. I wonder if the migratory flocks screech for the entire trip? Human children are capable of it, so it’s a possibility.

Open thread!

You All Asked For It: 80s Music Open Thread

I’ve got nothing really to say right now about what happened in New Zealand earlier today (their time) that I haven’t said too many times before over the past 3 and 1/2 years. I may write something about it in a day or two, but I also may not.

But since you all have been arguing about 80s music in the comments to the previous thread, here’s a post with a bunch of it. Some one hit wonders. Some imported from across the pond. Some of it good. Some not so much.

You can argue over it in the comments. 1/2 the videos/songs after the jump.

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Horrowshow Open Thread: When All Else Fails, Yell “Look! JEWS!”

Count on Donald Trump to say the quiet parts out loud, and at the worst possible time. A white supremacist murders Muslims? Hey, look over there!

Speaking to a group of R.N.C. donors at Mar-a-Lago [last] Friday, Trump told the crowd assembled, “The Democrats hate Jewish people,” according to three people who were there. He went on to say he didn’t understand how anyone who’s Jewish could vote for a Democrat these days—perhaps still seething that Clinton got 71 percent of the Jewish vote in 2016, to his 24 percent—and proceeded to brag about how much he’s done for Israel, including his highly controversial decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Trump speech without a completely deranged assessment of his chances of winning an election in another country: according to the president, if he could run for prime minister of Israel, “he’d be at 98 percent in the polls.”…

Hey, it’s what he’s thinking about, ergo it must be what’s important to everybody. Well, the *right* everybodies, ifyouknowwhatImean…

Think we can make ‘Mike Pence, Chrapture Enthusiast’ happen?

GOP Venality Open Thread: A Susurration of CYA

Cue up the Dumbest Man in Congress…

Open Thread

I thought we could use something somewhat pleasant, so here is a picture of crowd favorite Rosie, on the rug in the foyer, working overtime to relax while avoid making eye contact with the god damned camera:

I have a big pot of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots cooking, and I intend to spend the night playing Pathfinder: Kingmaker, which is another game along the lines of Pillars of Eternity and Divinity: Original Sin that I enjoy so much.

The Shitposter in the White House

Here’s a Reuters article from two years ago:

Exclusive: Trump to focus counter-extremism program solely on Islam – sources
Julia Edwards Ainsley, Dustin Volz, Kristina Cooke

WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The Trump administration wants to revamp and rename a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism, five people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The program, “Countering Violent Extremism,” or CVE, would be changed to “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” the sources said, and would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States.

According to the DHS page for the program, the name wasn’t changed. But since Trump-appointed people are running it, I suspect its mission has.

Trump’s hateful rhetoric about Islam has been utterly normalized, but maybe it’s time to un-normalize it. To quote Bob Schooley on Twitter, “It would be really great in light of New Zealand if the press could go back and look at Trump’s record on this and give it half the attention Ilhan Omar’s bad statements got.”

I won’t hold my breath. Maybe the media is afraid he’ll attack them, which he already does, every day. The fact is, Trump views anyone who opposes him as an enemy who deserves to be violently rebuked.

Just yesterday, during a routine interview with the right-wing hate site Breitbart News, Trump casually threatened his political enemies. I laughed about it then:

Doesn’t seem funny today.

I don’t know what we can do about this, fellow citizens, except support the vulnerable in our own communities and mobilize to vote out Trump and his enablers next year.

That seems insufficient in the face of such evil. If y’all have any ideas (peaceful), please share.

Aside from that, open thread.

The Original Sin

A lot of people are screaming at the tech companies because the attacks in Christchurch were streamed. I’m not an expert on the matter, but I just don’t know how they are supposed to track every live feed. Maybe shutting them down could have been done faster. I don’t know.

To me, though, the real sin is that they have allowed these toxic communities to grow and prosper. Not only have they allowed it, they have monetized it and profited from it. It shouldn’t take a fucking groundswell of public anger to shut down /incel.

Say My Name

This was pretty good. I’m seeing a lot of comments like Shapiro’s from other right wingers. Of course, they’d be shouting to the hilltops if the next mass killer has a foreign-sounding name, or is brown.

That said, I generally agree that sharing the killer’s name isn’t important, nor are the ideological parts of their manifesto (it’s all the same hate), but I sure think the autobiographical parts are important. How are these killers made, and how do we stop them before they kill? This should be the topic of serious research that is shared periodically with the community as a whole.

I also have some concern about making the manifesto “forbidden fruit”. Part of indoctrination into any cult is taking a poorly socialized outsider and making them think they’re on the inside of a big secret. I don’t know how I feel about the videos, since they’re damaging to the victims’ families. Certainly having them go viral as the shooting is still happening is wrong, but maybe if they’re behind a bunch of warnings and victims identities are blurred, they might be OK to share, especially if there’s a denialist movement around the shooting (which is probably inevitable).