« The Stupidest Environment Imaginable - Open Thread | Main | Ice and Unpredictability »

March 24, 2018


I dislike the format of YouTube links because they give no hint of the content behind them. And yet, this time, I knew without clicking which speakers ugh was linking to. From those two (Emma Gonzalez and Samantha Fuentes) I surfed over to many others, and came to a humbling epiphany: Kidz these days are all right.

Early this morning, I watched one of the MSNBC anchors ask one of the Parkland kids how she would respond to the gun lobbyist he had spoken to last night, who told him the kids were obviously being manipulated by librul politicians. The student responded with way more dignity than I could possibly have mustered. She did NOT say "Tell that mothafucka to come say it to my face" She did NOT ask the host "Are YOU afraid to mention his name, or is HE?" She simply explained that nobody who has seen her friends shot needs to be manipulated into complaining about it. The kidz are all right.

A couple of weeks ago, I pointed out that the withered-pecker gun-nut contingent brays on the one hand that "mental illness" is to blame for massacres like Parkland, and on the other hand howls for the mentally ill (by their own assessment) Parkland murderer to be sentenced to death. The kidz will catch on, eventually, to how ludicrously contemptible their real enemies actually are.

Be afraid, Wayne. Be very afraid.


I've become aware that "the kids are alright" for a few years now, primarily from interacting with current Boy Scouts, and being highly impressed at their maturity, responsibility, and rationality.

I've come to realize that it wasn't the BSA that made or selected them that way, it's just the way kids are, now.

They're damn good shots also, too.

Old fncks (meaning people my age and older) who call them snowflakes will enjoy their irrelevance when these kids take over.

The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence;
not in silence, but restraint.

-- Marianne Moore

I've just gotten back from Vietnam. It's been two years since I've been, and I'm always blown away by the energy, in large part because they have so many young people.

Trying to piece together the rally from fragmented videos and reports is hard and I'm sure I don't have the full measure of this, but, as countless have pointed out, it seems like another cusp. I've always felt that all of the student uprisings of the 60's and 70's were linked, Wikipedia provides a list of those in 1968
But that gives the impression it was a Western event
Korea (yes, early, but linked, I think)
Thailand 1973
Even the Cultural revolution

It seems strange to suggest that these uprisings, all with local reasons for beginning, were propelled by an underlying logic, but to not do so seems to miss the bigger trends. While the spark for these rallies and this outpouring of eloquence by these children is prompted by the local, it does seem different.

And to say children is not to dismiss them, it is to acknowledge that 1) they shouldn't have to do this and 2) to put into relief the level of commitment that they show. To call them 'young people' is to fail to understand the moment, to make them honorary adults and magnanimously admit them as having concerns that should be addressed rather than to acknowledge their weight as a group. While 'children' automatically has us dismiss them, young people exhibits a reverse prejudice, like the racist saying someone isn't like all the others. Use of the term young people helps make sure that we won't consider the thoughts of children.

I'm sure some would (and have) seize on my suggestion of the Cultural Revolution as part of this as indicative of all the problems with youth movements. But concentrating on that is a failure to understand the kind of power that a youth movement represents. However, it is easy to see that this is the playbook that many are going to go with

THere is also the understandable reflex to focus on the spokespeople, Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Sam Fuentes. It is the human reflex to make the story understandable. But it does them and the cause a disservice, as not only do they have to deal with all of the negativity, but it makes it easier for the groups that want to have this fail attack. This is not to dismiss their eloquence, and what they have done, which is far more than what most adults could do. But as a parent, what Emma Gonzalez' mother said weighs on my heart

"It's like she built herself a pair of wings out of balsa wood and duct tape and jumped off a building, and we're just like running along beneath her with a net, which she doesn't want or think that she needs."

So, as I go thru stories online and listen to videos, I'm frightened and exhilarated. The kids are alright, but will they be alright. I've got no idea.

It looks to me on lj's link showing the NRA's ads and tweets that they will be counter-productive, that their approach looks so obsolete and unconvincing suddenly in the face of the Stoneman students that apart from their die-hard base they might just start losing support. But on the other hand, since I'm clearly the opposite of their target audience, I'm probably wrong.

They’ll always have photoshop.


I think that to really understand the NRA's ads requires understanding what's driving them. I submit that the driver is . . . panic.

I think that the NRA also sees this as, at least potentially, a cusp. One which could permanently end what has been, up to now, an astoundingly successful, half century long, marketing campaign. And the only hope for their corporate sponsors is to somehow break it.

I think their panic also stems from a recognition that their standard playbook isn't working. Unfortunately (for them), they are mostly old foggies (see any image of La Pierre) who are seriously stuck in their ways. They sort of recognize that they urgently need something new. But just can't figure out, after all these years, how to innovate.

and things like Santorum's "kids need to learn CPR!" is just going to further alienate young people.


maybe i can fade away in a society that isn't continually being pistol-whipped by the 2nd Amendment fetishists.

If only Yoko had known CPR ....


In which country where the Beatles toured was the tail, wings, and fuselage of the plane they traveled in shot full of bullet holes?

It happened to be the same country where the Beatles' records and books were burned.

It wasn't fucking liberals doing either.

I lived a mile and half from Columbine High School in 1999.

I attended the memorial across the street in a mall parking lot a week later. Franklin Graham was one of the speakers, if that word can be used to describe what it was he thought he was doing.

That mp-loving hog, that feral wolf full of sanctimonius conservative dogshit, fresh from an adolescence and young adulthood of shooting up his father's property with semi-automatic weapons while drunk, said it was liberals' and Democrats' fault, including some of the parents of the murdered, that a fucking Hitler-obsessed army brat psychopath, Eric Harris, and his accomplice Klebold converged on the school with massive quantities of military weaponry and murdered 13 (15 including the killers) innocents and severely wounded 21 others.

Al Gore was there too. I wished he had strangled Graham with his bare hands right then and there so conservative vermin could joke that whaddaya gonna do now, liberals, ban bare hands?

Nineteen years later, in a country run politically at the majority of state and local governments by conservative republicans in the tank for the murderous NRA and their sister terrorist organizations, not Democrats, although Democrats at the national level, stymied by obstructionist conservative bullshit, when they were in power were cowards in the face of the NRA onslaught, the body count is certainly impressive, ain't it?

And Eff Graham's God has been in charge all along apparently as well.

The students, the kids, from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas who have so ably organized what so-called grownups couldn't and spoke so eloquently in D.C. remind me of a story my late father-in-law related to me about his epiphany under fire in WWII. He enlisted at 17, underage, a kid like these ones, and was soon a bombardier for thirty+ missions over Europe.

On his second or third mission, he was standing amidship in the fuselage and a hunk of hot metal from German anti-aircraft below opened up a hole at his feet, like a flower unfolding, and whizzed straight up past his dick and his nose and out the top of the aircraft.

It was at that moment (he also got to clean up stray severed arms and legs and heads on runways in training as fresh pilots learned to take off and land those flying pianos) that it came to him that "those fuckers were trying to kill me" and for the rest of his service, he had not an iota of a qualm about releasing his bombs.

I think these kids, after the six and half minutes of wartime gunfire and the savage murder of their classmates'and teachers' innocent human flesh, which is precisely the specified, technical, militaristic, end the killers' weapons were designed to inflict, but NOT in their FUCKING SCHOOL, had exactly the same epiphany as my father-in-law about what the fucker and his arms merchants were doing to them.

Luckily, so far, instead of bombing the shit out of their enemies, they have chosen to speak eloquently and firmly, but in a civilized manner about WHAT is going to come down in America, finally.

I occurs to me that it's not hard to notice that conservatives ... with the exception of some of the combat veterans in the very effective ad who actually have battlefield experience with the weapons of war so-called American citizens are permitted to swan around with like we live in fucking Beirut, like the NRA and their whores a la Santorum are attacking the educated eloquence of the students in this effort.

It's as if these rancid putzes are not only aggrieved and victimized by the mere words and the facile, grammatical order in which they are expressed by the students, but they are shocked that American students have been taught successfully by a public institution, which like every other fucking public institution has been under constant attack by the so-called "conservative movement" these many decades and these filth have been telling us don't and can't do their jobs and because apparently their stupid conservative offspring can't talk straight despite the best efforts of our teachers, who, those of whom remain unshot, are overpaid.

To my mind, the most eloquent speaker, was Sam Fuentes (does mp have fascist ICE sniffing around her and her family now, because her name sounds kind of iffy), badly wounded in the military gunfire in her FUCKING SCHOOL, who vomited on stage midway thru her remarks.

Her acid bile most accurately expresses my opinion about America on this date in history, and not only regarding its weaponry.

America needs to have a good long puke to cough up the conservative republican bug that has crawled up its ass and feasted on its insides.

A point not often enough made - the Second Amendment is yet another legacy of slavery:

A point not often enough made - the Second Amendment is yet another legacy of slavery

Claims that the Second Amendment had anything to do with slavery may be ahistorical.

2nd Amendment Passed to Protect Slavery? No!

I think we're talking about the interpretation of the 2nd which claims it to uphold an individual right to bear arms - were it only about state militias, it would be little more than an historical curiosity.


Many of the early gun control laws in the US were to explicitly or implicitly prevent slaves, former slaves, Mexicans or other minorities from owning and carrying weapons.

The Finkelman article referenced by CharlesWT is really good, and explains why Heller was so wrong.

were it only about state militias, it would be little more than an historical curiosity.

I am neither a lawyer, a Constitutional scholar, or a historian. I've done a reasonable amount of reading, in order to try to understand the issue. That's all.

The states were considering surrendering a significant amount of authority to the feds. They were suspicious of a strong and centralized federal authority. So, they did not want the feds to be able to dominate them via military force.

They therefore wanted to retain the institution of local citizen militias, under the control of local, state-level civil authority. And, they did not want a permanent standing army.

No doubt other purposes and traditions came into it, because "the founders" were not of anything like one mind about much of anything.

But my understanding is that the 2nd was pretty much exactly about the institution of the state militia.

I think the idea that people could, and would, own firearms for personal defense and hunting as assumed. It is called out specifically in some state constitutions, but not in the federal one.

State-level citizen militias for national defense went away because it was utterly ineffective as an institution for actually defending the nation. They persist, and are actually pretty useful, for addressing natural disasters and occasions of civil unrest that are beyond the scope of municipal resources.

IMO the 2nd is, precisely, a historical curiosity, just like the 3rd.


color me unsurprised.

russell: the National Guard is not the State Militia.

Here's a painting entitled 'Militia Training' from 1841 (in Phila. Museum of Fine Arts collection)

Note that the TappaKeggaBrew fraternity are on full display, with firearms. Some things never change.

IMO, the *original* motivation for the 2A isn't necessarily the same as later iterations. In terms of supporting anti-slave militias, that really took off after the Haitian Revolution. The 'individual right' part mostly came after 1865. Odd coincidence, that.

the National Guard is not the State Militia.

Strictly speaking that is correct. As of the Dick Act, I don't think there is a state-level institution that exactly meets what the Constitution means by "militia".

Some states have a strictly state-level organized defensive force in addition to their state Guard organization, but I don't think they are, for lack of a better word, federalizable. Not in any consistent way.

As of the Dick Act, there is the National Guard, and the "unorganized militia", which basically means "anyone who can be called into military service".

Long story short, the institution that the 2nd A refers to, and was intended to preserve, does not exist in any meaningful way today.

I wonder, whether Switzerland was on the mind* of the Founders. There are quite a few parallels (freedom loving but strictly locally minded** farmers form a defensive union and defeat their tyrannical foreign overlords, form a federal state with a very weak federal government and defend it henceforth with a well-regulated militia).
Ironically, until recently Switzerland had some of the strictest gun regulations there are where even unauthorized opening of the individually issued ready-to-go ammo packages*** carried a hefty prison sentence. At the same time it was one of the very few states that did not recognize a right to conscientious objection and had no alternative service.
I assume that to try to establish a similar system (clearly in line with what the Founders intended) in the US would lead to outcries of 'tyranny!!!!' (and not from the actual pacifists).

* I almost typed radar screen ;-)
** the so-called Kantönli-Geist
***let alone loading and using it.

have we figured out how the FBI is abusing its powers yet?

I don't believe so, cleek. Enquiring minds want to know.

I already told you, cleek. They're being mean.

have we figured out how the FBI is abusing its powers yet?

You mean the FBI that, it has been forcefully argued elsewhere, put Trump over the top with the Abedin memo?

Or how about this?

Or this?

Or this?

Just because the FBI appears to be on "our side" regarding Russiagate does not mitigate for one moment the bureau's past or the institutional imperative to come down hard on legitimate left-wing dissent.

bobbyp, that question is framed specifically within the context of the Mueller investigation. I highly doubt cleek unconditionally loves him some FBI as a general matter.

All in response to Marty defending Trump, who he claims not to like very much.

bobbyp, that question is framed specifically within the context of the Mueller investigation.

If one squints, one could put that take on it I guess. I did not notice any "specificity" in the question as written as there was no context in any of the immediately preceding comments that would provide such.

All in response to Marty defending Trump, who he claims not to like very much.

But, but...Marty has not posted any comments on this thread.

Maybe I need some CPR.

FWIW, I'm sure that there is, within the FBI, a number of folks who would be happy to pin Trump to the wall for his treatment of Comey and his general shitting all over their reputation in public.

Just like, in the run-up to the election, there apparently were a number of folks in the FBI who were more than happy to screw over Clinton to get their guy Trump installed.

To the degree that all of that is so, and is detrimental to Trump, all I can say is karma's a bitch. Live by the sword, y'all.

All of that said, IMO Mueller is about a close to a straight shooter as is likely to be available, and I'm happy to let him pursue his investigations to their conclusion.

And let the chips fall where they may.

If one squints, one could put that take on it I guess.

hsh is 100% correct.

sorry, i thought everyone knew this one!

Yes, sorry bobbyp, we carried that conversation over from another thread, where we were talking about Trump, Mueller etc, Marty claimed the FBI were abusing their powers, cleek asked how, I seconded and Marty disappeared and hasn't reappeared since. Of course he does have a life, but when he reappears it will be interesting to try and get an answer.

In fact, Marty made exactly your point about the FBI being on "our side" on this issue and our consequent forgiveness of their sins....

bobbyp, I think the "Left" needs to make peace with the FBI and the various agencies of government that should be protecting all of us. I had a conversation with a white collar criminal lawyer recently who is shocked and appalled that the Justice Department is able to convict people, and ham sandwiches even, on wire fraud.

Obviously, we need an FBI (and a Justice Department) that respects civil liberties. The way to do this is to 1) vote Democratic so that our institutions aren't distorted by thugs; 2) recognize the value of our institutions in preserving justice for all; 3) insisting on oversight; 4) insisting on procedures where people can redress grievances.

We have to change the culture, and own the culture, not destroy the culture. We need them. Look at what we currently have here.

And while I'm ranting, ungrammatically as always, same with the military. The Left has allowed the Right to own the military service for far too long. Some of this has changed under Obama. But whenever I see a Democrat who is has served in military run for office, I want to reward that person, because those are the people who are turning that culture around. The military represents all of us.

And to just take this tangent a bit further, my horrendous Congressman, Tom Garrett, has just been an accomplice to a fundraiser for Dana Rohrebacher, along with Erik Prince and Oliver North. As we all know, Erik Prince is trying to turn our military into a privatized [mercenary] force with him profiting. Also gestapo and goon squad.

We have to stop these people, and stake our own claim to the military. We have a Democratic Marine Corps veteran running against Tom Garrett, and you can bet that's my candidate.

What would more encourage the military than pointing out that a bunch of chicken hawks are trying to get them killed just to support their egos. No real national interest involved.

The Left has allowed the Right to own the military service for far too long.

uh...um...no. I don't want the military to be "owned", I want it to be reduced to the point that we could drown it in Grover Norquist's bath tub. As an institution it has grown far beyond any reasonable need, and has a pernicious effect on our political and public social life.

It distresses me to see a lot of fresh new Dem candidates burnishing their military service vita. I want to see people of color, women (yes, many new ones!), civillians who hold mundane jobs, the young, old effing commies, and hippies. Anything but "businessmen" and attorneys.

Some of this has changed under Obama.

hahaha...um...no, again.

I share your desire to reward Dem candidates, but I want to reward them all, but see a good deal more diversity...and much more "real Left" positions.

So, I keep pushing. What else can you do?

bobbyp, I think the "Left" needs to make peace with the FBI and the various agencies of government that should be protecting all of us.

Given the history and makeup of the large and powerful institution known as the FBI, I find this to be a ridiculous request.

When you see the FBI walking a picket line, I might reconsider.

Bobby, you basically have two choices. Both with respect to the military and to the FBI. You can try to reduce them to nothing. Or you can try to turn them around into something that you can live with.

And the former is, quite frankly, simply not going to happen. You might prefer that approach. But there's really no way you can sell it to the country. Save your effort for something more realistic, like eliminating the entire population that disagrees with you about anything. Because that's going to have to happen first.

We'll have to disagree on these issues, bobbyp. I don't understand your views whatsoever. Especially given the organized crime syndicate that has broken laws and money laundered its way into the Presidency, we need a way to get them out.

My guess is that you have no familiarity at all with the federal government. The WWII folks have dies, and now we have the Nazis back. Maybe when the (yes I'm a part of it, and you, and Dick Cheney) baby boomers go, we can be rational again about what the Executive Branch needs to be about.

I hope we survive until then.

Sorry 'bout the typos. A combination of keyboard woes, suddenly diminished eyesight, and negligence -what a mess.

I hope we survive until then.

Haha. "We" meaning not we, but the US.

First we bury the GOP. Then we take on the military-industrial complex and the FBI.

It's hard to change "the culture", but it's not impossible. The RWNJs have moved "the culture" into a supine position of reverence for the military and for "law enforcement". However, they did not do it in one day, or even one election cycle. We who think that the military exists to serve the nation rather than vice versa, and that "law enforcement" deserves respect but not obsequiousness, will need a similar amount of time.

So, baby steps: kill off the GOP, at all levels, first.


I'd like to know how people think we're going to get rid of these Russian mobsters without law enforcement.


Bobby, you basically have two choices. Both with respect to the military and to the FBI. You can try to reduce them to nothing. Or you can try to turn them around into something that you can live with.

This is a false choice bullshit argument that simply does not deserve any respect.

Please can it.

Why is it a false choice? Seriously. Is there a third option that I've missed? Or what?

I'm glad to entertain alternatives. I'm just failing to come up with one which has any real chance of actually happening. But then, failure of my imagination wouldn't be a novelty....

As opposed to many of my "far left" friends, I agree with what TP said. The question is, how is the utter defeat of the GOP accomplished?

The Clinton 3rd way was maybe a nice holding action, but in terms of the long run....an utter 'effing disaster.

The Obama era was great regarding healthcare (baby steps, but very important ones!), but his near total disregard for the base, virtual non-support of down ballot races, his attempts at a "grand bargain", the drones...well, there are issues as far as I am concerned.

Don't get me wrong. I believe the best way to effect real left political change is for the left to take over the Democratic Party, or substantially push it further left.

So I support the Dems purly in cold political terms...I mean, joining the Socialist Workers Party is a ticket to irrelevance. Therefore I have voted in every election since 1972 for Dems, no matter how bad. And believe me, some of them were or are really f*cking bad. Zell Miller anyone?

Please don't lay crap false choice arguments on me. I've been around too long. I've heard them all.

I'd like to know how people think we're going to get rid of these Russian mobsters without law enforcement.

Lavrentiy Beria couldn't have said it any better, my friend.

You need to chill a bit.

I'm just failing to come up with one which has any real chance of actually happening.

Why do we need a "3rd choice"? Why can we not have a gradient of possible outcomes? For example, take the latest defense appropriation bill? To me it is a travesty of wasted resources.

I am of the opinion that appropriation could be a great deal less and actually meet our needs.
What's your take?

If you have a counterproposal for defense expenditures, then make it.

Please stop with the either/or rhetorical bs. That is tired stuff.

I'm just failing to come up with one which has any real chance of actually happening.

So we should just continue to spend way more than we need for national defense? This is abject surrender, a failure of political imagination.

I'm not buying it.

I'm not buying it.

Well, that, and I am drunk as a skunk.

Don't drink, but this Kosher Kush is good. Listening to Baden-Powell, reading Greil Marcus on Guy DeBord and Johnny Rotten.

No link, but Americans got 5% fatter in 2015-16.

Private Railroad Cars

Perpetual Travelers

The last two links are the class I watch, the UMC professionals, creatives, the 250k to 1M tax avoiders. Kochs and Thiels, Spielburgs and Bezos, like dukes, are only as powerful as the army they buy, and the army needs officers.

I keep being amazed, as a student of history, how freaking unconsciously insanely obscenely rich the world is. Been a long time since an apocalyptic creative destruction. Been a long time since wealth was threatened.

Gilded Age x 10 rich. Sure, not optimally managed or distributed, trickling down on oasis and islands leaving deserts and slums, but novelty is getting financed and moving at lightspeed.

How rich? Go back 400 tears and tell Hobbes that any citizen can gain possession of 50 thousand good books in their house with little trouble. Intellectual, social, political capitals are accumulated and destroyed, hoarded and distributed at a dizzying pace.

Last Gilded Age financed Picasso and Stravinsky, great mansions and cities...Vladimir Ilyich Lenin making a living off the equivalent of Baffler and counterpunch.

And the Uberrich also financed, in boredom and status competition, the last worst colonialism and World War I.

Last Gilded Age

Capital is the totality of relationships, all and every not just those we have ghettoized as "economic." Nothing outside Capital.

I have a relationship to Meiji novelists and Cape Verde musicians, to a chess analyst on Youtube and a lesbian anime blogger, all who in some sense benefit.

We are still learning about exactly how the Facebook users and their activities are Capital, and how that new formation effects all others.

And the inequality is horrible, because we can all see the mobility, there are a lot of new jobs and incomes in six figures available. Because the working class is getting shafted.

But Marxists are economists, even physicists, entropy ya know, inequality creates energy and motion. Just the facts.

Back to the original subject of this thread, John Paul Stevens opines on the Second Amendment. Repeal it, he says.

"During the years when Warren Burger was our chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge, federal or state, as far as I am aware, expressed any doubt as to the limited coverage of that amendment. When organizations like the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and began their campaign claiming that federal regulation of firearms curtailed Second Amendment rights, Chief Justice Burger publicly characterized the N.R.A. as perpetrating “'one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.'”

I kilt the blog.

Brutal Origins of Gun Rights in America...Blanchfield on a book by Dunbar-Ortiz, Native-American viewpoint. This is my understanding, that the 2nd Amendment is intended so that the Feds can pass no law more or less specific than any state law, essentially leaving guns a states right. So that blacks don't get guns and injuns get kilt.

Apologies for my intemperance last night. Trump made me do it.

bob mcmanus: I have a relationship ... to a chess analyst on Youtube

Mato, Suren, agadmator, or some other one?

John Paul Stevens opines on the Second Amendment.

A counterargument:

Justice John Paul Stevens Is Wrong About the Second Amendment, Again: The retired justice wants to claw back parts of the Bill of Rights.

not knowing anything about George Tucker, i googled.

and the first hit was "St. George Tucker and the Second Amendment: Original Understandings and Modern Misunderstandings".

IMO, it does a pretty thorough job of demolishing everything that Damon Root has to say.

While weighing the relative wisdom of Justice Stevens and Reason magazine, consider this Boston Globe article.

Emma Gonzalez will outlive Stevens and LaPierre both. The withered-pecker gun-fetishist brigade won't go quietly, but they'd better get used to not having it all their own way. NOLA mayor Landrieu has it about right: "The 2nd Amendment does NOT mean that EVERY American has the right to own ANY number of guns, of ANY type, and carry them ANYWHERE, at ANY TIME." When Stevens and LaPierre (not to mention you and me) are gone, the 2nd Amendment will mean what the Emma Gonzalez cohort says it means.


agadmator, a couple videos a day, increasing with the candidates

Tony P., Given the climate I see a non-negligible probability that she will not. Given her current high profile and the demonization at work, I assume there are a number of 'patriots' that would love to seek '2nd amendment remedies' against her. And those would not be persuaded by the argument that it would turn her into a martyr, something the likes of LaPierre would consider as somewhat of a worst case scenario. (Of course it would be claimed that it was a false flag operation etc. but this time I doubt they could pull that off).

I assume there are a number of 'patriots' that would love to seek '2nd amendment remedies' against her

probably are. there are probably hundreds of them chatting about it on gun fetish sites right now.

it would accelerate gun control legislation like nothing else could.

Whether she outlives them or not, her cohort will. I'm looking forward to seeing world when they're in charge if I live long enough, even if I'm sitting on the sidelines telling stories about the early days of the internet.

"it would accelerate gun control legislation like nothing else could."

I disagree.

Widespread shooting of NRA members? THAT would do it.

We're just the wrong people to make it happen.

Widespread shooting of NRA members? THAT would do it.

Ha! I'd bet it would just motivate them to demand more and heavier weapons. 50 cal machine guns, perhaps. Or maybe something like a T-34 Calliope (or whatever the modern version is).

I see a non-negligible probability that she will not.

I don't think anyone's going to shoot Gonzales.

There will be a lot of videos of mostly guys talking about shooting Gonzales. Or shooting somebody, anyway. Whoever it is in their minds that is taking away all of their guns and freedoms.

And there will be lots of people making fun of her haircut.

And most likely she'll just keep on keeping on.

Advantage Gonzales.

Your word in the FSM's ear (or equivalent thereof), russell.

I was pretty sure that Obama was going to be assassinated. I was also sure that 9-11 exposed a way to introduce friction into all the international exchanges, doing just enough to slow everything to a grinding halt. I was wrong about both those things, so I hope I'm wrong (and russell is right) about González.

Most days I believe we need far fewer guns and shooting in America, the seeping gut wound. But then Erick Erickson's mouth once again surfaces up through the roiling conservative pit of untreated human waste, and I momentarily believe we need more of both:


When I stand in front of the Iwo Jima monument in Washington D.C., for example, I wonder, are we sure (I share in common with conservatives, on my weak days, the view that government is either lying or wrong about every single thing under the sun, or just incompetent enough to confuse one Marine with another, especially when it is run by conservatives) all six of those Marines were hands-on present at the raising of the flag.

I don't muse out loud about it, fearing that a Marine veteran standing nearby might set me straight with his fists.

Erickson's problem, as with so many conservatives in this country, is that no one ever beat the shit out of them when they were impressionable enough for the beating to take.

Whether she outlives them or not, her cohort will. I'm looking forward to seeing world when they're in charge if I live long enough

Insect Decimation*

"The worldwide loss of insects is simply staggering with some reports of 75% up to 90%, happening much faster than the paleoclimate record rate of the past five major extinction events."

I am now so assured that the ongoing extinction event will surprise us regularly, precipitously, and catastrophically that I now think even casual predictions extending more than a couple years (Gonzalez will be Pres!) are delusional, pernicious, and homocidal(2).

*Merriam Webster on Decimate

2) Since those reading this are more likely to survive longer than most, likely at their expense.

Doesn't mean Gonzalez can't be a future leader in the great lifeboat triage. Go girl.


Documents filed by special counsel prosecutors reveal that former Trump deputy campaign chairman Richard Gates was knowingly working with an individual with ties to Russian intelligence during the campaign, CBS News Paula Reid reports. In a late Tuesday court filing late, the special counsel alleged that this unnamed person worked for one of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's companies and was in touch with Gates in September and October 2016. This individual is also described as being "pertinent to the investigation."

Febreeze needed, STAT!

IMO the reason Mueller's thing is taking so long is because there is just so much crap to shovel.

I hope I'm wrong (and russell is right) about González.

I just don't think your average NRA big mouth tough guy has the nerve to do it. They just want to talk about it. With each other. It's like some kind of locker room talk, only with imaginary bullets instead of imaginary sexual conquests.

Go read the various shooter blogs if you need examples from the wild.

All of which tells me that folks like that generally retain some level of basic common sense. Which I find encouraging.

There are always random outliers a la Dylan Roof et al, so it's not a given that nobody gets hurt. I just think it's not the most likely outcome. Hope it turns out that way.

IMO the reason Mueller's thing is taking so long is because there is just so much crap to shovel.

I think it's more a matter of wanting to be sure that every I is dotted and every T is crossed. Both because it is the right thing to do and because losing a case along the way would make it enormously harder to build subsequent cases.

However the result is that, having taken time and care, we are going to be seeing a lot of airtight cases. (Not to mention the guilty pleas.) I expect that anybody and everybody (except those in total denial, like Trump) who is even peripherally involved from 2016 is already weighing their options. Even if they haven't, yet, been asked questions or for documents.

...I now think even casual predictions extending more than a couple years (Gonzalez will be Pres!) are delusional, pernicious, and homocidal(2).

I'm not sure if you're expanding on my conditional or calling me a murder....

more totally innocent behavior:

A lawyer for President Trump broached the idea of Mr. Trump pardoning two of his former top advisers, Michael T. Flynn and Paul Manafort, with their lawyers last year, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions.

The discussions came as the special counsel was building cases against both men, and they raise questions about whether the lawyer, John Dowd, who resigned last week, was offering pardons to influence their decisions about whether to plead guilty and cooperate in the investigation.

The talks suggest that Mr. Trump’s lawyers were concerned about what Mr. Flynn and Mr. Manafort might reveal were they to cut a deal with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, in exchange for leniency. Mr. Mueller’s team could investigate the prospect that Mr. Dowd made pardon offers to thwart the inquiry, although legal experts are divided about whether such offers might constitute obstruction of justice.

The trouble with issuing pardons is . . . that removes any restraint on those folks testifying against you. And, unlike his voting base, the level of loyalty he engenders among those who actually worked for him seems to be pretty small.

wj: The trouble with issuing pardons is . . . that removes any restraint on those folks testifying against you.

Only a pardon from Putin would "remove any restraint".

Any bets on whether the Skripal hit was mainly a warning to Manafort?


Any bets on whether the Skripal hit was mainly a warning to Manafort?

Gotta figure that people will take a very different view of you killing their natives, vs killing one of your own ex-citizens who defected? (On your territory, not traveling elsewhere in the world.) It would be a whole different level of upset.

a hit on Manafort would put Trump in a mighty pickle.

Hmmm. Somebody with some experience is saying the word.

Should we talk about fascism, or the Nazis, and how they might relate to now? This is the worst time ever for me to offer a guest post, but there are some writers who have considered this (Sarah Kendzior, Tim Snyder) who we could reference and riff on.

It's time to figure out how serious things are getting, and what we need to do if elections seem not to work. (And that is very likely, given the assertive Republican anti-Democratic power-grabbing going on when they feel threatened. )

We don't have guns. Are we just going to let this go on if Plan A (elections) fail?

So, yeah. Remember the drone conversations? Remember when, sure, "we'll defend the US when there's an existential threat!"

Folks, there's an existential threat.

Yeah, that's what I thought.

this article about how badly Cohen messed up the Trump/Stormy contract is hilarious.

the best people. real killers.

"There are just so many problems with this that it feels a bit silly to single any one of them out. Like arguing that someone's imaginary friend can't be elected president because he's not 35 years old yet, and also a Canadian."

hsh -- I was just about to send cleek's link to my son (who's a lawyer) when I saw your quote of exactly the thing I wanted to highlight. Great stuff.

This is really more appropriate for he "stupidest environment" thread, right? Jeez...

"If Cohen’s attorney speaking accurately, Cohen’s behavior will be taught in professional responsibility as fraud, suitable for bar sanction."

ahhh. so nice.

the best people.

If the only people you deal with are losers, you end up with low standards for "the best." By this time, nobody else is nuts enough to work for or with him. (And I have my doubts about anyone who was ever willing to associate with him on a non-financial basis. Even back when there might be some reasonable expectation of contracts being honored.)

Actually, the best quote was in the comments:

So the narrative is that Cohen, without Trump's awareness, entered him into a contract with woman with whom Trump never had an affair, then paid her $130,000 out of his own pocket? And that he did this on a regular basis? I've never had an affair with Trump either. Anyone have Cohen's number?
I think I should probably second that question about anyone having Cohen's number. I mean, I definitely meet the qualifications (well, except for not being female)....

The whole thing does raise one other question. If Cohen regularly "fixed" things out of his personal finances, how did he stay solvent? (Unlike Trump on normal bills, I don't think stiffing people on hush money generally works.)

According to Josh Marshall at TPM, Michael Cohen is a very rich dude.

Of course, "rich" and "solvent" are different things as He, Trump has demonstrated several times.


it's rather remarkable how often you see the word "Ukraine" when you start reading about Trump's cronies.

It's not just "Ukraine." It is, if memory serves, which side of things they were on in Ukraine. Hint: it wasn't notably opposed to Russian influence being as large as possible.

The comments to this entry are closed.