The Wires

Public Service Announcement

July 27: NBC News: "If your information was compromised during the massive 2017 Equifax data breach, you could be entitled to up to $20,000." The article provides info on how you can claim your share of the restitution fund. Mrs. McC: I might give it a crack. I know my personal info was compromised during the period of the Equifax breach, but I'm not sure Equifax was the source of the breach. So I might give this a crack. 

Washington Post: "the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships were no different — especially Sunday night, the final night of the two-day [U.S. Gymnastics Championships]..., [Simone] Biles aced a skill no other woman (and only two men in the world) has successfully landed in competition — a triple-twisting, double somersault that capped the first tumbling pass of her floor routine like a cymbal crash":

 

Washington Post: White Southern plantation visitors who pay good money "to learn about the history of life on a plantation" are very upset guides mention slavery. Mrs. McCrabbie's recommendation: put on your MAGA caps & hoop skirts, watch the first 10 minutes of "Gone with the Wind," & practice saying "Fiddle-dee-dee."

Here's one for contributor Jeanne. "Margaret Atwood joins Deborah Treisman to read and discuss 'Corrie,' by Alice Munro, from a 2010 issue of the [New Yorker] magazine":

Nick Schager in the Daily Beast: "Premiering on Netflix and in select theaters on July 24, The Great Hack is the most enraging, terrifying and — I don’t use this term lightly — important documentary of the year. Directed by Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim..., its subject is the Cambridge Analytica data scandal—a story that’s galling on the surface, and infinitely more bone-chilling when one considers its far-reaching ramifications. That’s because Cambridge Analytica’s deceptive and criminal relationship with, and conduct on, Mark Zuckerberg’s social media platform had world-altering consequences: helping launch the Brexit movement, and successfully aiding the election campaign of Donald Trump.” 

Guardian: “The businessman Arron Banks and the unofficial Brexit campaign Leave.EU have issued a legal threat against streaming giant Netflix in relation to The Great Hack, a new documentary about the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the abuse of personal data. The threat comes as press freedom campaigners and charity groups warn the government in an open letter that UK courts are being used to 'intimidate and silence' journalists working in the public interest. In a joint letter to key cabinet members, they call for new legislation to stop 'vexatious lawsuits', highlighting one filed last week by Banks against campaigning journalist Carole Cadwalladr.”

AP: "MAD, the long-running satirical magazine that influenced everyone from 'Weird Al' Yankovic to the writers of 'The Simpsons,' will be leaving newsstands after its August issue. Really. The illustrated humor magazine — instantly recognizable by the gap-toothed smiling face of mascot Alfred E. Neuman — will still be available in comic shops and through mail to subscribers. But after its fall issue it will just reprint previously published material. The only new material will come in special editions at the end of the year."

Hill: "The Democrats beat the Republicans in a high-scoring 14-7 win Wednesday [June 26] night in the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game. It was the Democrats' 10th win in 11 years."

New York Times: "... the Library of Congress has named [Joy Harjo] America’s new poet laureate. She will take over for Tracy K. Smith, who has held the position for two years.... Harjo, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, is the 23rd poet and first Native person to be selected for the role."

New York: "The mass of the metal 'anomaly' beneath the moon’s largest crater is five times greater than the big island of Hawaii, and according to a new study from scientists at Baylor University, it could contain metals remaining from an ancient asteroid impact, weighing in at around 4.8 quintillion pounds."

New York Times: "A skeleton in Siberia nearly 10,000 years old has yielded DNA that reveals a striking kinship to living Native Americans, scientists reported on Wednesday. The finding, published in the journal Nature, provides an important new clue to the migrations that first brought people to the Americas. 'In terms of peopling of the Americas, we have found close to the missing link,' said Eske Willerslev, a geneticist at the University of Copenhagen and a co-author of the new paper. 'It’s not the direct ancestor, but it’s extremely close.'... The DNA of [a group scientists call] the Ancient Paleo-Siberians is remarkably similar to that of Native Americans. Dr. Willerslev estimates that Native Americans can trace about two-thirds of their ancestry to these previously unknown people.”

Wednesday
Aug072019

The Commentariat -- August 8, 2019

Afternoon Update:

Mrs. Bea McCrabbie: Yesterday, Ken W. linked to a story about a man who had bashed a boy's head into the pavement, causing serious injury, because the child had not taken off his hat while the national anthem played. Earlier in the day, I had seen a story covering the same incident, but I couldn't bear to read it, so I passed on Ken's story, too. Now, I have no choice to address the story because it has political significance:

Seaborn Larson in the Billings Gazette: "The attorney for a 39-year-old man charged with assaulting a child who didn't take his hat off for the national anthem says his client, compromised by a traumatic brain injury, believes he was acting on an order from ... Donald Trump. Superior resident Curt Brockway was charged Monday with felony assault on a minor. His defense attorney, Lance Jasper, told the Missoulian Wednesday the president's 'rhetoric' contributed to the U.S. Army veteran's disposition when he choke-slammed a 13-year-old, fracturing his skull, at the Mineral County fairgrounds on Aug. 3. 'His commander in chief is telling people that if they kneel, they should be fired, or if they burn a flag, they should be punished,' Jasper said.... Charging documents indicate Brockway told the deputy he grabbed the boy by the throat, lifted him into the air and slammed the boy on the ground.... Deputies later learned the boy had suffered a concussion and a fractured skull."

Colby Hall of Mediaite: "... Donald Trump is getting criticized for a 30-second video he shared documenting the warm reception he received in Dayton and El Paso following mass shootings last weekend. The professionally shot and edited video was shared on the president's Twitter feed Wednesday evening and features a series of shots of President Trump shaking hands and posing for photos with hospital staffers, though noticeably does not include any images of his meeting with any victims from either mass shooting.... But as Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler notes [in a tweet], the press was not allowed to join President Trump during any of his visits, and as a result, the public is only allowed to learn what happened via the tightly curated and slickly packaged information propagated by the White House. Or as he fairly calls it 'propaganda.'"

Quint Forgey of Politico: "... Donald Trump on Wednesday ridiculed former Rep. Beto O'Rourke and bragged about the crowd size at one of his rallies while visiting medical staff who treated victims of the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, over the weekend.... When one the people Trump was addressing said Wednesday he was sitting in the front row of Trump's rally earlier this year, the president reached out to shake his hand. 'That was some crowd, and we had twice the number outside,' Trump replied. 'And then you had this crazy Beto. Beto had, like, 400 people in a parking lot. They said, "His crowd was wonderful."'"

Emily Birnbaum of the Hill: "Senate Republicans' campaign arm on Thursday announced it will stop spending money to advertise on Twitter after the social media site locked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) campaign account this week. The halt marks an escalation in the conservative battle against the country's largest tech companies, which they claim routinely censor right-wing voices. Critics have insisted there is little evidence to substantiate those claims beyond individual anecdotes."

~~~~~~~~~~

President* Uses "Day of Unity" to Attack Democrats. Mitch Smith & Michael Shear of the New York Times: "President Trump began a day set aside for healing in Dayton and El Paso by lashing out against his political rivals and the news media, employing the kind of divisive language that prompted protests in both cities even before he arrived.... Even as his spokeswoman said [Trump's visit to Dayton] was never designed as a photo op, Dan Scavino, the president's social media director, posted on Twitter pictures from inside Miami Valley Hospital. 'The President was treated like a Rock Star inside the hospital, which was all caught on video,' he tweeted. 'They all loved seeing their great President!'... Even though officials refused to allow reporters to witness the Dayton hospital visit..., the White House quickly released a video featuring images of Mr. Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, shaking hands with emergency workers and chatting with hospital staff members.... In a news conference soon after Mr. Trump departed Dayton for El Paso, [Sen. Sherrod] Brown and [Dayton Mayor Nan] Whaley said the president refused to commit to signing a universal background check bill, but told them that he would 'get things done.'... Flying on Air Force One, Mr. Trump attacked the senator and the mayor on Twitter, saying they had misrepresented what happened inside the hospital. 'Their news conference after I left for El Paso was a fraud,' the president wrote. 'It bore no resemblance to what took place.' Mr. Scavino added on Twitter: 'They are disgraceful politicians, doing nothing but politicizing a mass shooting, at every turn they can.'"

"Send Him Back!": El Paso Protesters. Ashley Parker, et al., of the Washington Post: On a day when President Trump vowed to tone down his rhetoric and help the country heal following two mass slayings, he did the opposite -- lacing his visits Wednesday to El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, with a flurry of attacks on local leaders and memorializing his trips with grinning thumbs-up photos.... Both in Dayton and El Paso, Trump kept almost entirely out of public view, a marked break with tradition, as presidents visiting grieving communities typically offer public condolences.... [Sen. Sherrod] Brown and [Dayton Mayor Nan] Whaley described the visit by the president and first lady Melania Trump in favorable terms.'... [Trump] lashed out at Brown and Whaley, falsely accusing them of 'totally misrepresenting' the reception he received at Miami Valley Hospital.... But neither Brown nor Whaley said Trump received a poor reception at the hospital.... Whaley later responded to Trump's comments about her and Brown by calling him 'a bully and a coward.'... None of the eight patients still being treated at University Medical Center in El Paso agreed to meet with Trump when he visited the hospital, UMC spokesman Ryan Mielke said. Two victims who already had been discharged returned to the hospital to meet with the president.... During his flight home from El Paso, Trump attacked Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.), the twin brother of presidential candidate Julián Castro.... As he departed the White House on Wednesday morning en route to Ohio, [President] Trump told reporters he would refrain from attacking his adversaries during the trip.... That detente lasted only a few minutes. Answering a reporter's question about [Joe] Biden, Trump pounced. 'Joe is a pretty incompetent guy,' the president said. 'Joe Biden has truly lost his fastball, that I can tell you.'" ...

... Politico's report, by Gabby Orr, is here. ...

... John Bowden of the Hill: "In a tweet Wednesday night, Trump referred to [Rep Joaquin Castro] as the "lesser brother of a failed presidential candidate (1%) who makes a fool of himself every time he opens his mouth.' An initial tweet misspelled Joaquin Castro's name.... Julián Castro responded in his own tweet, vowing that he and his brother would 'keep fighting' against Trump's 'hate' and 'corruption.'" Mrs. McC: I too find "Joaquin" difficult to spell. Then again, were I sitting on AF1 with my crack staff all around, before I embarrassed myself to my gazillion brilliant Twitter followers, I would ask staff, "Is this the way you spell 'Wahkeen'?" ...

... Daniel Dale of CNN fact-checks Trump's claim that Sherrod Brown & Nan Whaley "misrepresent[ed] the reception [he] received from shooting victims during his visit to a Dayton hospital.... This is false. While both Brown and Whaley criticized Trump's past rhetoric, they were only complimentary about his visit to the hospital." ...

... "The Dems ... Are Truly Disgusting!": Trump. Zeke Miller & Jill Colvin of the AP: "Aiming to play the traditional role of healer during national tragedy..., Donald Trump paid visits Wednesday to cities reeling from mass shootings.... But his divisive words preceded him, large protests greeted him and biting political attacks soon followed.... Outside Dayton's Miami Valley Hospital, at least 200 protesters gathered, blaming Trump's incendiary rhetoric for inflaming political and racial tensions in the country and demanding action on gun control. Some said Trump was not welcome in their city. There were Trump supporters, as well. In El Paso, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke spoke to several hundred people.... Trump's motorcade passed El Paso protesters holding 'Racist Go Home' signs. And Trump spent part of his flight between Ohio and Texas airing his grievances on Twitter, berating Democratic lawmakers, O'Rourke and the press. It was a remarkable split-screen appearance for TV viewers, with White House images of handshakes and selfies juxtaposed with angry tweets.... Trump seemed focused on politics through the day. He mentioned the crowd at his earlier rally in El Paso. When a reporter asked what he saw during the day, he answered with claims about how he was received respectfully in both cities. Then on the flight home he unleashed another political tweet: 'The Dems new weapon is actually their old weapon, one which they never cease to use when they are down, or run out of facts, RACISM! They are truly disgusting!'" ...

... Michael Shear followed Trump on his no-apologies tour. "In a tweet on Wednesday morning, Mr. Trump quoted a conservative television news outlet's reporting that 'the Dayton, Ohio, shooter had a history of supporting political figures like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and ANTIFA.'... Before he departed on Wednesday, he dismissed criticism about his use of divisive language. 'I think my rhetoric brings people together,' he said.... Before leaving, he lashed out at the mayor of Dayton, calling her a supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders and of antifa, a radical leftist group.' The president also rejected calls to abandon the way he talks about immigrants, saying that 'illegal immigration is a terrible thing for this country' and insisting that 'we have very many people coming in. They are pouring in to this country.' Mr. Trump also used language tha echoed his 'both sides' comments after the neo-Nazi rallies in Charlottesville in 2017, saying on Wednesday that 'I'm concerned about the rise of any type of hate. I don't like it. Any type of supremacy, whether it's white supremacy or antifa.'" (Also linked yesterday.) ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: The chance that Whaley is an Antifa supporter is somewhere around zero. But Trump is happy to condemn people for completely invented reasons. It's false charges like this, coming from a president*, that incite violence. ...

... Lawrence O'Donnell said Wednesday on MSNBC of Trump's visits to Dayton & El Paso, "These were campaign stops today." Trump used government resources to produce a propaganda video which Trump already has used in a campaign ad, O'Donnell said. (No link.)

Josh Dawsey & Seung Min Kim of the Washington Post: "President Trump has repeatedly told lawmakers and aides in private conversations that he is open to endorsing extensive background checks in the wake of two mass shootings, prompting a warning from the National Rifle Association and concerns among White House aides, according to lawmakers and administration officials. Trump, speaking to reporters Wednesday before visiting Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, where weekend shootings left 31 dead, said there 'was great appetite for background checks' amid an outcry over government inaction in the face of repeated mass shootings.... NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre spoke with Trump on Tuesday after the president expressed support for a background check bill and told him it would not be popular among Trump's supporters, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.... LaPierre also argued against the bil's merits, the officials said.... Advisers to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he would not bring any gun-control legislation to the floor without widespread Republican support." The Raw Story has a summary here.

The Trump Family Idiots. Like Sister, Like Brother, Like Father. Remember way back this morning when we read that Ivanka Trump tweeted made up stuff about Chicago, killing off people who had been wounded? Well, this morning Brother Junior went on Fox "News" & likened Julian Castro to the Dayton mass murderer because he had republlished a publicly-available list of Trump donors in San Antonio. Of course there is nothing wrong or murderous with publicizing information the government provides, and even if there were, Julian Castro didn't do so. His brotherJoaquin did, though. Philip Bump of the Washington Post reports. Worth a read, right to the end, where we learn Junior complained that Instagram "hit" him -- deleted his post -- just because he compared aspiring immigrants to animals in the zoo. (Also linked yesterday.)

Brett Samuels of the Hill: "President Trump on Wednesday said he's 'all in favor' of background checks for weapon purchases in the wake of recent mass shootings, but threw cold water on the prospect of banning high-powered weapons that have been used in several massacres. 'I'm looking to do background checks,' he told reporters. 'I think background checks are important. I don't want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate. Sick people. I'm all in favor of it.' He indicated there would be little movement on legislation to ban high powered weapons like the one used in Dayton and other mass shootings. 'You have to have a political appetite within Congress and so far I haven't seen that,' Trump said." (Also linked yesterday.)

Anita Kumar of Politico: "... Donald Trump this week said his administration has done 'much more than most' to help curb mass shootings in the United States.... [But] his administration has actually eased gun restrictions over the past two and a half years. Federal agencies have implemented more than half a dozen policy changes -- primarily through little-noticed regulatory moves -- that expand access to guns by lifting firearms bans in certain locations and limiting the names on the national database designed to keep firearms away from dangerous people. The administration asked the Supreme Court to overturn New York City restrictions on transporting handguns outside homes. And it pushed to allow U.S. gunmakers to more easily sell firearms overseas, including the types used in mass shootings." In describing the minimal gun-control measures Trump did take in response to earlier mass murders, "William Vizzard, who spent nearly three decades at the ATF, described the restrictions as modest. 'On a scale of 1 to 100, they're about a 2, he said." (Also linked yesterday.)

Jake Tapper of CNN: "Whit House officials rebuffed efforts by their colleagues at the Departmen of Homeland Security for more than a year to make combating domestic terror threats, such as those from white supremacists, a greater priority as specifically spelled out in the National Counterterrorism Strategy, current and former senior administration officials as well as other sources close to the Trump administration tell CNN. 'Homeland Security officials battled the White House for more than a year to get them to focus more on domestic terrorism,' one senior source close to the Trump administration tells CNN. 'The White House wanted to focus only on the jihadist threat which, while serious, ignored the reality that racial supremacist violence was rising fast here at home. They had major ideological blinders on.'... Why the White House pushed back so much is a matter of some debate. The former senior administration official noted that the White House, specifically the President, has a problem criticizing white supremacy." ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: One reason Trump says outrageous things -- like lying about Sherrod Brown's & Nan Whaley's remarks -- is to deflect your attention from substantive stories like Tapper's.

Scott Glover & Majlie Kamp of CNN: "The El Paso shooting suspect's mother called the Allen, Texas, Police Department weeks before the shooting because she was concerned about her son owning an 'AK' type firearm, lawyers for the family confirmed to CNN. The mother contacted police because she was worried about her son owning the weapon given his age, maturity level and lack of experience handling such a firearm, attorneys Chris Ayres and R. Jack Ayres said. During the call, the mother was transferred to a public safety officer who told her that -- based on her description of the situation -- her son, 21, was legally allowed to purchase the weapon, the attorneys said. The mother did not provide her name or her son's name, and police did not seek any additional information from her before the call concluded, they added."

Mike Memoli of NBC News: "Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday excoriated President Donald Trump for a 'toxic tongue' that he said has inflamed the nation's divisions, saying that he lacked the moral authority to lead America. Addressing voters in rural southeastern Iowa as the president traveled between two American cities reeling from mass shooting incidents, Biden drew a direct link between Trump's rhetoric on immigration and what appeared to motivate the alleged shooter in Saturday's attack on El Paso, Texas.... Over the course of a nearly half-hour address Biden named a slew of former presidents -- from George Washington to George Bush, from Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama. But he cast Trump as the aberration, saying he had 'more in common with George Wallace than he does with George Washington.'"

Darren Sands of BuzzFeed News: "Cory Booker stood in the well in the hallowed halls of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Wednesday morning and challenged Americans to act on the country's gun violence epidemic, just days after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that killed at least 31 people and brought the country to a grieving halt. Booker offered a lyrical and, at times, spirited speech that presented an intersectional message on the dangers that white supremacy and gun violence pose to America." (Also linked yesterday.)

Abha Bhattarai of the Washington Post: "Hundreds of white-collar Walmart employees are expected to walk out Wednesday afternoon to protest the retailer's gun policies after shootings at two company stores left 24 people dead. Workers at Walmart's e-commerce offices in San Bruno, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Brooklyn are taking action to urge the world's largest retailer to stop selling guns and discontinue donations to politicians who receive funding from the National Rifle Association. Walmart sells guns in about half of its 4,750 U.S. stores, making it one of the nation's largest retailers of firearms and ammunition.... Organizers also started a Change.org petition to call on company executives to stop selling firearms. As of Wednesday morning, it had more than 28,000 signatures." After learning of the employees' plans, Walmart suspended at least one of the organizers' email & Slack accounts. USA Today has the story here. (Also linked yesterday.) ...

     ... The story has been updated, with Greg Bensinger added to the byline. New lede: "Roughly 40 white-collar Walmart employees [in San Bruno, California,] walked out Wednesday afternoon to protest the retailer's gun policies after deadly shootings at two company stores. Workers at Walmart's e-commerce offices in Portland, Ore., and Brooklyn were also taking action to urge the world's largest retailer to stop selling guns and discontinue donations to politicians who receive funding from the National Rifle Association." Mrs. McC: This is the only story on the walkout I could find.

Say, Let's Ask Susan Collins about All This. Josh Israel of ThinkProgress: "Amid calls for action to stop gun violence and mass shootings, [Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)] told right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday that it is' extremely disappointing' that Americans want action now. Collins, who sometimes bucks her party on gun issues but is most often there when the Senate Republican leadership needs her, has been non-committal on specific responses to the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton over the weekend. Asked about the issue by Hewitt, she launched an attack -- not on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has blocked all action on gun safety legislation, or ... Donald Trump, who has fueled white nationalist violence with his racist rhetoric -- but on the activists who are calling for change to the status quo. 'Surely this is the time when we could put aside politics and come together and our leaders could act as one to give our condolences to the victims' families. And ... it's extremely disappointing,' she complained.... 'There are times for political debate, but this is not one of them.'" Mrs. McC: Shame on you for "extremely disappointing" Collins yet again.

Tommy Christopher of Mediaite: "Fox News anchor Shepard Smith appeared to throw a short but intense burst of righteous rebuke at Fox host ... Tucker Carlson when he told viewers that 'White nationalism is without question a serious problem in America.' On Tuesday night, Carlson delivered a disgusting rant in which he claimed that white supremacy is a 'hoax' that is 'actually not a real problem in America' -- just days after that 'hoax' killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas and wounded dozens more.... 'Marking the unmistakable rise of white nationalism and white racism in America, and saying as president, he will work to fight against it, calling us to our better souls, to recognize that white nationalism is real, that white nationalism is on the rise, and that white nationalism is without question a very serious problem in America,' Smith said, the last clause a crystalline dagger at Carlson." ...

... So Then... Justin Wise of the Hill: "'Watching Fake News CNN is better than watching Shepard Smith, the lowest rated show on @FoxNews,' Trump tweeted ... yesterday. 'Actually, whenever possible, I turn to [One America News Network]!'... Smith acknowledged Trump's tweet during his show Wednesday, saying, 'Good afternoon, Mr. President. It's nice to have you with us.'"

MEANWHILE. Rogelio Solis & Jeff Amy of the AP: "U.S. immigration officials raided seven Mississippi chicke processing plants Wednesday, arresting 680 mostly Latino workers in the largest workplace sting in at least a decade. The raids, planned months ago, happened just hours before ... Donald Trump visited El Paso, Texas, the majority-Latino border city.... 'On a day when we seek unifying words and acts to heal the nation's broken heart, President Trump allows so many families and communities to be torn apart,' said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights.... About 600 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents fanned out across the plants operated by five companies, surrounding the perimeters to prevent workers from fleeing.... Those arrested [at a plant in Morton, Mississippi,] were taken to a military hangar to be processed for immigration violations. About 70 family, friends and residents waved goodbye and shouted, 'Let them go! Let them go!' Later, two more buses arrived.... The companies involved could be charged with knowingly hiring workers who are in the county illegally and will be scrutinized for tax, document and wage fraud, [Matthew] Albence, [ICE's acting director,] said." ...

... Angela Fritz & Luis Velarde of the Washington Post: "Many children [of parents ICE detained] didn't have a loved one or family friend to go home to. Some walked home from school but were locked out because their parents were detained in the raid. Volunteers set up a makeshift shelter for the children at a local gym tonight, WJTV's Alex Love reported. There was food, 'but most children are still devastated and crying for their parents and can't eat,' Love said on Twitter. Bryan D. Cox, a spokesman for ICE, told The Post that all arrested individuals were asked 'if they had any children who were at school or child care and needed to be picked up.' He said cellphones were also made available to detainees so they could make arrangements for child care. Cox also said schools were contacted as the raids began so they were aware there could be child care issues and knew who to contact if parents didn't pick up their kids. Any detainee that indicates he or she has dependents 'and is not being criminally arrested or is subject to mandatory detention, will be expeditiously processed,' Cox said."

Juan Cole: "Latino-Americans are standard-bearers of a bright future for the US. The Latino Gross Domestic Product in the US in 2016 was at least $2.13 trillion, according to a study by the Latino Donor Collaborative. In that year, the US GDP was $18 trillion. If the nearly 60 million Latinos in the US were a country, they'd be the world's 7th largest.... They are expected to generate 25% of all economic advance in the US in 2019-2020 despite only being 17% of the population. They are more than pulling their weight.... Latinos own 4.37 million businesses in the US, contributing $700 billion to the economy every year. More, in the past decade Latinos started 86% of all new businesses. The El Paso shooter, a loser, was targeting precisely the people who could help ensure he had a secure economic future in Texas." --s

Elliot Hannon of Slate: "In June, the U.S.government deported 41-year-old Jimmy Aldaoud to Iraq. Aldaoud, who was born in Greece, said he had lived in the U.S. since he was six months old and had never even been to Iraq, the country he where he was technically a national. Aldaoud was residing in a small Detroit metro area community of Chaldean Catholics, a branch of the Roman Catholic church whose roots are in present-day Iraq, when immigration officials showed up, detained him, and ultimately put him on a plane to Baghdad. Aldaoud did not speak Arabic. He did not have a home or any contacts there. Aldaoud was also a diabetic and, on Tuesday, he died in a country that was not his own from what appeared to be a lack of access to insulin, according to the family friends and the American Civil Liberties Union."

Lawyers Paid to Work for You Think They Work for Trump

Nicholas Fandos & Charlie Savage of the New York Times: "The House Judiciary Committee sued on Wednesday to force the former White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II to testify before Congress, asking a federal judge to strike down the Trump administration's claim that top presidential aides are 'absolutely immune' from its subpoenas. In a filing in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the Judiciary Committee identified Mr. McGahn as 'the most important witness, other than the president, to the key events' at the center of its investigation into possible obstruction of justice by President Trump --behavior detailed by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, that the committee said could warrant impeachment.... 'When faced with competing demands from coequal branches of government, Don will follow his former client's instruction, absent a contrary decision from the federal judiciary.' [William Burke, one of McGahn's attorneys said.]" Mrs. McC: But, um, Trump was never McGahn's "client"; "the presidency" was his "client."

Josh Marshall of TPM: "The President has been going into court in his personal capacity -- i.e., with his own private lawyers -- trying to knock down various House efforts to subpoena documents relative to his personal and business finances... His lawyers ... have made a raft out of outlandish legal claims.... But now the Department of Justice is entering these cases and to a great degree mimicking these arguments.... What all of this amounts to is that the Department of Justice is now more or less openly operating as the President's personal defender." --s ...

... Blame the Court. Josh Kovensky of TPM: "Echoing arguments made by personal attorneys for President Trump, the Justice Department weighed in Tuesday on Trump's side in his bid to halt a congressional probe of his finances. Trump took the unprecedented step of hiring personal attorneys to try to halt a subpoena issued by the House Oversight Committee seeking financial records from his longtime accountant, Mazars USA LLP. Accusing House Democrats of issuing 'sweeping subpoenas purportedly justified by vague incantations of hypothetical legislative purposes,' DOJ attorneys argued in the Tuesday filing that the subpoena 'raises significant separation-of-powers issues.' The DOJ filing is the first time the Trump Administration has taken a position in court on the President'bid to halt Congress' investigations of himself. The Justice Department filed its brief after the DC appeals court asked it to during oral arguments in the case last month. The judges wondered aloud why the government had not taken a position on the matter."


Matt Shuham
of TPM: "At a GOP fundraiser back home in South Carolina on Friday, the White House chief of staff [Dick [sic] Mulvaney] celebrated ;a decision announced recently by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. Hundreds of government economists and researchers based in Washington, D.C., the secretary said in June, were being given a choice: Move to Kansas City, or get out. They had 33 days to decide. 'Guess what happened?' Mulvaney asked his audience. 'More than half the people quit.'... An inspector general's investigation was launched in November into the legality of the relocation, and reported Monday that Perdue may have improperly circumvented Congress.... The relocation, Mulvaney said, offered proof he was draining ['the swamp']." --s ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Yes, but Mulvaney is a dick.

** Michael Hayden of the Southern Poverty Law Center: "A U.S. State Department official oversaw the Washington, D.C.-area chapter of a white nationalist organization, hosted white nationalists at his home and published white nationalist propaganda online, Hatewatch has determined. The official, Matthew Q. Gebert, works as a foreign affairs officer assigned to the Bureau of Energy Resources, a State Department spokesperson told Hatewatch. Online, and in private correspondences with other white nationalists, Gebert uses 'Coach Finstock' as a pseudonym. Through that alias, he expressed a desire to build a country for whites only.... Four separate sources named Gebert's wife, Anna Vuckovic, as 'Wolfie James,' a blogger and Twitter personality who also is connected to the white nationalist movement." --s ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: The State Department's response at the bottom of the report is more than worrisome. However, the Feds are very concerned about this:

... Jason Wilson & Will Parrish of the Guardian: "Law enforcement groups, including the FBI, have been monitoring opponents of a natural gas infrastructure project in Oregon and circulated intelligence to an email list that included a Republican-aligned anti-environmental PR operative, [Mark Pfeifle of Off The Record Strategies] emails obtained by the Guardian show.... The emails, obtained via open records requests, reflect the increased scrutiny and surveillance to which law enforcement agencies are often subjecting indigenous and environmental groups, activists say.... In a telephone interview, a spokesman for the US attorney in Oregon also confirmed the existence of another body mentioned in the emails: a 'domestic terrorism working group' led by the assistant US attorney, Craig Gabriel, that meets 'roughly quarterly' in Portland." --s

E. A. Crunden of ThinkProgress: "The Trump administration's plan to freeze fuel efficiency standards in defiance of California's stricter, more environmentally friendly rules is set to have dire ramifications for emissions levels and the economy, according to new research out Wednesday. Rolling back California's robust vehicle emissions requirements will cost the U.S. economy $400 billion through 2050, an analysis from the environmental policy group Energy Innovation found. President Donald Trump's efforts to undo Obama-era rules will also increase U.S. gasoline consumption by up to 7.6 billion barrels, subsequently increasing U.S. transport emissions up to 10% by 2035." --s

Ben Tobin & Phillip Bailey of the Louisville Courier-Journal: "After sharing a video of a profanity-laced protest outside [Mitch McConnell's] home in Louisville, the campaign Twitter account, Team Mitch, has been locked out.... On Monday, Black Lives Matter Louisville leader Chanelle Helm said in a live video of the protest outside of McConnell's Highlands-area home that instead of falling and injuring his shoulder over the weekend, the GOP leader 'should have broken his little raggedy, wrinkled-(expletive) neck.' After a man makes a reference to a hypothetical McConnell voodoo doll, Helm replied, 'Just stab the m----- f----- in the heart.' That comment went viral on Twitter."

Presidential Race 2020

Trump Has Millions of New Fans. Nate Cohn of the New York Times: "The share of Americans who say they have a favorable view of [Donald Trump] has increased significantly since the 2016 election.... And over the last few months, some of the highest-quality public opinion polls, though not all, showed the president's job approval rating -- a different measure from personal favorability -- had inched up to essentially match the highest level of his term.... [This] has some important implications in how to view his re-election prospects.... Millions of Americans who did not like the president in 2016 now say they do. Over all, his personal favorability rating has increased by about 10 percentage points among registered voters since Election Day 2016...."

Madeleine Aggeler of New York: "Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins and chairman of the Related Companies, which includes cult fitness brands SoulCycle and Equinox, is scheduled to throw an extravagant fundraiser for President Trump's 2020 reelection campaign on Friday, the Washington Post reports. Tickets for his Hamptons luncheon begin at $100,000 for lunch and a photo opportunity with the president. For $250,000, guests can partake of lunch, a photo op, and a small roundtable discussion with Trump. The report was met with dismay by fans of SoulCycle and Equinox, many of whom threatened to withdraw their memberships in protest." Both SoulCycle & Equinox posted tweets claiming Ross is merely a "passive investor."


Stephen Brown
of the New York Daily News: "The founder of Students for Trump pleaded guilty Tuesday to running a $46,000 scam in which he posed as a lawyer and gave legal advice. John Lambert, 23, created a website for a fake law firm called Pope & Dunn and claimed to be Eric Pope, a graduate of NYU Law School with a finance degree from the University of Pennsylvania and 15 years of experience in corporate and patent law, prosecutors said." (Also linked yesterday.)

Steve Eder & Emily Steel of the New York Times: "For over 15 years, Jeffrey Epstein served as a close personal adviser to Leslie H. Wexner, the billionaire mogul behind Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works. Now, Mr. Wexner says Mr. Epstein 'misappropriated vast sums of money' from him and his family. Mr. Wexner, the chief executive of the retail giant L Brands, included the accusation in a 564-word letter he sent Wednesday to the Wexner Foundation, giving his most detailed account yet of how his life and affairs became intertwined with Mr. Epstein, who was arrested last month and charged with sex trafficking involving girls as young as 14. In the letter, Mr. Wexner said the misappropriation was first discovered in 2007 ... [after] Florida authorities charged Mr. Epstein with multiple counts of molestation and unlawful sexual activity with a minor." The Hill's story is here.

Can You Hear Me Now? Joseph Cox of Vice: "Contractors working for Microsoft are listening to personal conversations of Skype users conducted through the app's translation service, according to a cache of internal documents, screenshots, and audio recordings obtained by Motherboard.... Apple and Google recently suspended their use of human transcribers for their respective Siri and Google Assistant services after a backlash over similar media reporting on the companies' practices." --s

Sam Levin of the Guardian: "Monsanto [now owned by the German pharmaceutical corporation Bayer] operated a 'fusion center' to monitor and discredit journalists and activists, and targeted a reporter who wrote a critical book on the company, documents reveal. The agrochemical corporation also investigated the singer Neil Young and wrote an internal memo on his social media activity and music.... The documents, mostly from 2015 to 2017, were disclosed as part of an ongoing court battle on the health hazards of the company's Roundup weedkiller[.]" --s

** Damian Carrington of the Guardian: "The climate crisis is damaging the ability of the land to sustain humanity, with cascading risks becoming increasingly severe as global temperatures rise, according to a landmark UN report compiled by some of the world's top scientists.... Further heating will lead to unprecedented climate conditions at lower latitudes, with potential growth in hunger, migration and conflict and increased damage to the great northern forests.... Continued destruction of forests and huge emissions from cattle and other intensive farming practices will intensify the climate crisis, making the impacts on land still worse." Here's the report. --s ...

     ... The New York Times report, currently (7 am ET Thursday) at the top of the online front page, is here.

Beyond the Beltway

Puerto Rico Gets Its Third Governor in Six Days. Danica Coto of the AP: "Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez became Puerto Rico's new governor Wednesday, just the second woman to hold the office, after weeks of political turmoil and hours after the island's Supreme Court declared Pedro Pierluisi's swearing-in a week ago unconstitutional. Accompanied by her husband, Judge Jorge Díaz, and her daughter, Vázquez took the oath of office in the early evening at the Supreme Court before leaving without making any public comment.... The high court's unanimous decision, which could not be appealed, settled the dispute over who will lead the U.S. territory after its political establishment was knocked off balance by big street protests spawned by anger over corruption, mismanagement of funds and a leaked obscenity-laced chat that forced the previous governor and several top aides to resign. But it was also expected to unleash a new wave of demonstrations because many Puerto Ricans have said they don’t want Vázquez as governor."

Way Beyond

India. Jeffrey Gettleman, et al., of the New York Times (August 5): "India's Hindu nationalist government on Monday unilaterally wiped out the autonomy of the restive Kashmir region, sending in thousands of army troops to quell any possible unrest the move would bring in a disputed territory fought over by India and Pakistan. Government authorities severed internet connections, mobile phone lines and even land lines, casting Kashmir into an information black hole that made it very difficult to discern what was unfolding.... On Monday, Amit Shah, India's home minister, announced in a quick speech, which belied years of steady plotting, that the central government was removing the special, somewhat autonomous status that served as the foundation for Kashmir joining India more than 70 years ago." Mrs. McC: Sorry I missed this earlier.

Turkey. Alison Flood of the Guardian: "More than 300,000 books have been removed from Turkish schools and libraries and destroyed since the attempted coup of 2016, according to Turkey's ministry of education ... as the government cracks down on anything linked to Fethullah Gülen, the US-based Muslim cleric who is accused by Turkey of instigating 2016's failed military coup. Glen has denied involvement." --s

News Lede

AP: "A gang member who killed four people and wounded two others in random stabbings across two Southern California cities has a violent past, police said Thursday, and court records show he was free on bail for a charge last month of carrying a concealed dagger. Zachary Castaneda 'could have injured or killed many other people' had he not been arrested Wednesday after two-hours of robberies and vicious knife attacks, Garden Grove police Chief Tom DaRe said Thursday. A blood-covered Castaneda was taken into custody when he walked out of a convenience store in neighboring Santa Ana, dropping a knife and gun he had taken from a security guard he had just killed, police said. Castaneda was kept in restraints as detectives tried to interview him. 'He remained violent with us through the night,' DaRe said. 'He never told us why he did this.'"

Reader Comments (17)

The lesson of the last 24 hours is that everyone should permanently dispense with the notion of Trump "hitting his low point."

There is no bottom.

It will get continuously worse, and his degradations are winning millions of new American admirers. The bankruptcy of America will come at the hands of a carnival barker's power of Twitter. Quintessentially American.

August 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commentersafari

@Safari

"Quintessentially American."

Indeed. We have seen this act before.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/08/05/what-p-t-barnum-understood-about-america

But the self aggrandizing film-flam man, P. T. Barnum, was not president.

At the distance of more than a century, Barnum is kinda funny if placed as an exhibit in the crowded American Museum of the Absurd where he belongs.

But today I'm not laughing. Neither is Kolbert.

August 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

Ken,

The parallels between P.T. Barnum, "Prince of Humbugs" and the King of Lies now besmirching the country in ways never thought possible are astounding: the constant lies, the shameless use and abuse of other human beings for personal profit and the amusement of others (public autopsy? Geeeez...), the scams, schemes, cons, and astonishing levels of self-aggrandizement (right down to the way both used fake identities and other assorted unethical contrivances to bolster their own reputations), and the milking of the public's inherent greed through Barnum's "money-getting" lectures and Trump's university flim-flam.

The biggest difference, of course, is that Barnum's cons did not damage the nation, aside from those whom he personally defiled.

Most people love to be fooled. One of our favorite shows as a family is a program featuring the magicians Penn and Teller called, appropriately, "Fool Us". We love watching the astonishing magic tricks which the titular stars try to suss out. But we all know they're tricks.

I'm thinking that a lot of Trump supporters know that he's not who he claims to be (greatest at everything), but as long as his tricks and scams are to their liking (sticking it to minorities, liberals, tree huggers, women's libber types, etc.) they're fine with it, even giddy about it.

Then there are those who see him as some sort of white savior who will rescue them from the taint of the lesser races and religions. These are the people who take his scams and lies seriously, who pick up his shouts of "invasion!" and run with them.

And kill for them.

Barnum never pulled that off. Which, I suppose, makes Trump greatest at something after all.

August 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Once more:
I am not a gun crank, My dad handed me the shotgun and said "don't shoot your dog." I was thirteen.
There is no acceptable use of a military style assault weapons.
Assault weapons are useful only for killing people, planning to kill people, and pretending to kill people.
The huge number of assault weapons in circulation indicates that there is a lot of pretending going on. Who are they pretending to kill: blacks, browns, yellows, politicians, past and future Presidents?
Since we have no way to separate the planners from the pretenders, we should take assault weapons out of civilian hands.
Freeze them in place. Require registration and place huge fines on the crime of transporting or not registering the weapons.
Owners of assault weapons will still be able to dry fire their weapons in their cellars and garages and pretend to kill thousands of the people they hate.

August 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commentercarlyle

Don't Give Up

As for the apparent rise in the popularity of the Orange Menace, I point to the press for much of this, although even for them the task is daunting.

There are so many levels of Trumpian lies, bullshit, skullduggery, thuggery, racism, con artistry, greed, not to forget actual treason, that it's difficult to know which way to turn and what to address first.

Let me help.

Trump and Fox and the right wing echo chamber have been frightfully effective at scaring journalists and editors, who have been cowed by the ferocity of the assaults from the right at the merest attempt at honesty.

Now is not the time to give in to such thuggish threats.

Any journalist, editor, publisher, or paper, at least ones that present themselves as objective and honest, who do not call this president a racist and a crook and liar, are not doing their job and are contributing to the downfall of democracy and, consequentially, the country.

Weasel words, euphemisms, half-hearted criticisms, qualifications all aid and abet the enemy. And make no mistake. Trump is the enemy as is his entire party and the media outlets that back, support, and cover for them.

All of this makes Trump look invincible and strong rather than the mean-spirited, small, cowardly traitor and traducer he is. People are naturally attracted to those they see as strong and who, it appears, others fear. Not calling this treasonous liar what he is gives him the appearance of strength and power. But he is only as strong as we allow him to be. Unlike those among us who have the strength of their convictions and can withstand the slings and arrows of fortune no matter how unfair or outrageous, Trump's only conviction is his himself. We've all seen how hard he is hit by the tiniest criticisms. He has no beliefs apart from the necessity of looking smart and great and rich. Oh, he is most definitely a racist, but that's not the central conviction that it is for most of his white supremacist supporters.

He is a sad, empty loser. A small, vicious little man.

But he is also a dangerous megalomaniac and he is doing incalculable damage to this country because too often the media are unable to stay the course. They follow the latest shiny object. Oh look, Trump said this. Oh my, he did that.

Pay attention, people. Don't be distracted by the sideshows. That's part of his plan. Throw so much shit out there and make it hard to follow the track.

And the track is Make Donald Rich, Steal Another Election, Make Donald Look Great, Make Donald More Money. And Fuck America if it Gets In the Way.

I have no doubt that he will always have that core of racists and haters, those for whom grievances and disappointment are a way of life. But those hangers-on who seem unable to see him for what he truly is may come out and vote for him unless they are made to realize what an existential mistake that will be.

We, out here, can only do so much. The press failed miserably the last time around. It looks like it's going to happen again.

Trump and his brownshirts won't sleep. They won't stop. They won't give up. Neither should the media.

Cry "uncle" now, and we might as well turn out the lights and call it quits.

August 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Carlyle,

In fact, assault weapons should be treated like controlled substances. Like plutonium or toxic poisons. You've seen those labs at the CDC, the ones where they keep strains of biologic mayhem, the ones you need to pass through multiple layers of protection before you can enter the vault where they keep these deadly toxins?

That should be how, outside the military, we contain these weapons. Make them as difficult for members of the public to get hold of as weaponized strains of botulinum and anthrax.

(On another note, you never did shoot your dog, did you?)

August 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

What I don't understand about Trump's appeal is that there is nothing admirable about him or his presentation. I thought con-men were good-looking & charming. Trump is a fat, odd-looking old oaf with a nasty disposition. Some people are so awful you want to watch them, but Trump isn't even that. He's repulsive. I suppose some people are attracted to him because he validates the darkest corners of their twisted little minds. But millions of people? I truly don't get it.

August 8, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

Marie,

I don't get it either. I have a friend who works in the financial world in New York City. He met Trump some years ago (long before his presidential aspirations), back when he was pretending that he wasn't broke and stupid. I asked him what he was like. His answer is really funny considering recent Trumpology. "He has really small hands."

Ha.

But that, in and of itself, wouldn't make someone unlikable. My friend did also say that no one else could get a word in edgewise. Which brings me to this little anecdote contained in an interview with the actor Woody Harrelson in the current Esquire. The set up is that Harrelson was accompanying Jesse Ventura, then governor of Minnesota, to a meeting with Trump in 2002 when he was trying to inveigle Ventura to run as his vice president if he decided to enter the 2004 race. Trump hogged the whole meeting. Here's Harrelson:

"Now, at a fair table with four people, each person is entitled to 25 percent of the conversation, right? I’d say Melania got about 0.1 percent, maybe. I got about 1 percent. And the governor, Jesse, he got about 3 percent. Trump took the rest. It got so bad I had to go outside and burn one [smoke a bone] before returning to the monologue monopoly. Listen, I came up through Hollywood, so I’ve seen narcissists. This guy was beyond. It blew my mind."

A loudmouth, a braggart, a liar, an asshole?

Seriously, what's to like?

I don't get it. I really don't.

August 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

@Akhilleus: Thanks for the Woody Harrelson anecdote. We're no closer to explaining Trump's appeal. Further from it maybe.

August 8, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

My daughter and I say that all the time. What's to like? The man is basically radioactive, toxic, and anyone with a brain could see it from the beginning of this debacle. Either people were/are hypnotized by something, or half the population is genuinely so stupid and racist themselves they aren't bright enough to come to the same conclusions as those of us who are NOT ignorant bigots. He isn't likeable. Not in the least. He's cruel, vicious, vindictive. Your basic despot. That would be bearable, maybe, if he were smart. He's not. He's a dumbass with all the power. I agree-- we are in deeper trouble than we even can see.

August 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJeanne

It helps Donnie that most of those people don't have to spend actual time with him. They can turn him on and turn him off whenever they want. Unlike Woody most of his supporters will never have one on one time with Donald and see first hand how little he cares are people who are not himself.

August 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRAS

To follow up on Carlyle's point about the dangers of assault style weapons, here is a perfect example of why banning them is the only logical thing to do.

According to lawyers, the El Paso shooter's mom (sorry, I never use the names of these assholes, those names should be dropped down a well and forever after they should be known as "Murdering Scumbag 23187") called the local police
to register her concern that her son had purchased an AK type firearm.

Know what they told her? Nothing we can do, and besides, it's perfectly legal for him to own that weapon.

Fast forward to last Saturday.

I'm hearing a lot now about how we need to "identify" disturbed people who will do these things and do....something. Okay, a couple of things about that particular idea. First, sure, people who are obviously dangerous, have exhibited violent tendencies, say and do crazy things, should not be allowed to purchase such weapons. Only Trump made it easier for these people to do so. The Newtowne murderer was one such case. His mom clearly knew the kid was nuts, but she did nothing. She ended up dead too. So this plan doesn't always work.

Second, not everyone who commits these atrocities can be pinpointed early enough. We've all known people we suspected (or were positive) lived somewhere around the bend. None that I've ever known walked into a public place and turned it into an abattoir. Often you hear things like "He was always a nice guy. Kept to himself, helped the lady down the street carry in her groceries." And in the basement, he was jerking off to slasher movies. You can't always tell.

So what to do?

For one, make it impossible to buy "AK type" firearms. Would the El Paso murderer still have gone on a rampage with a hand gun? Maybe. Even probably. But I'm guessing that for many of these guys (the Dayton murderer, for example), the cachet of killing many people quickly with the kind of hard-guy weaponry you see in the movies is probably better than the prospect of sex. Compared to these things handguns must seem like small beer. But, say they do decide to go Jesse James and pull out the six shooter (or 9 shooter or whatever). Chances are, untrained assholes like the El Paso scumbag might kill 2 or 3. Not 22.

But we are as unlikely to see that as we are to see any kind of enhanced background checks. Trump made some mewling noises about this and got a quick visit form Wayne-O telling him ixnay on the checksay. Don't know if he was wearing one of his $2,000 bathing suits or not. But Brave Sir Donald backed right down, tucked tail and ran into his Egg-Zecutive bedroom to hide in the closet.

If we did ban these weapons, the next time some concerned mom called the cops and reported that Little Johnny was out in the yard with his AK shooting at pictures of black people, a squad car would be pulling up in short order. Some public safety officer wouldn't be telling her everything is perfectly fine and to have a nice day.

So banning these things should be the first logical step.

But in TrumpLand, the only thing banned IS logic.

August 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

" ... a squad car would be pulling up in short order. "

Gee, I dunno. If I were Sheriff Jones in eastern Washington and I got a writ from a judge telling me to go relieve Crazy Willie of his cache of weapons, because his neighbor complained CW was batshit nuts, I'm not sure how fast I'd roll.

August 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

Asshole from Montana who fractured a kid's skull because "Trump told him to"?

More incontrovertible evidence that Trump inspires violent behavior and encourages the kind of mindset that causes his brownshirts to stay whipped up all the time (all the better for him; who cares if someone like, say, a 13 year old boy, gets his head broken?) to the point of acting out their aggressive tendencies on his behalf.

This is a president* who, when running for office, frequently egged on the droolers at his rallies to physically attack those he considered his enemies, who shouted that he'd like to punch a protester in the face.

It's still beyond belief that this knuckledragging creep is in the White House.

August 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Patrick,

Well, that's the theory anyway. At least if these weapons were illegal, there would be some recourse, it wouldn't just be "ho-hum". I'd hope.

August 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Patrick,

And if you don't think banning these things is a good idea, what's your plan?

August 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

I wish someone (like the reporters interviewing her) would ask her to expand on just what she means by "come together." Should we gather together in the largest stadium in town and... do something? All together send our thoughts and prayers... somewhere? All line up and walk past the mother father son daughter friend of the murdered person and, one by one, say,"I grieve for you."? Seriously, what does she mean by "come together?"

August 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterProcopius
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