Happy Halloween!

( I couldn’t resist posting these cute kids!!)

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Don’t forget our live blog on GOTV Tuesday where we can hang together instead of separately!!

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Wednesday Afternoon Reads: Pumpkinhead tRump

Here are today’s cartoons….

Entitlement cuts: 10/31/2018 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Entitlement cuts

Suppressing rights: 10/29/2018 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Suppressing rights

MAGA van: 10/27/2018 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - MAGA van

 

Suspicious package: 10/25/2018 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Suspicious package

A good series of cartoons there…

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump and the Constitution: 10/31/2018 Cartoon by Bruce Plante

Cartoon by Bruce Plante - Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump and the Constitution

MakeAmericaGrieveAgain: 10/30/2018 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - MakeAmericaGrieveAgain

11 DEAD: 10/29/2018 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - 11 DEAD

Tips for stopping extremist violence: 10/31/2018 Cartoon by Jen Sorensen

Cartoon by Jen Sorensen - Tips for stopping extremist violence

Well, this is super late…and its an open thread.


Tuesday Reads

Good Morning!!

Trump came up with another shiny object for his fans today. He told Axios that he plans to issue an executive order ending birthright citizenship. That would involve invalidating the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. There would be legal challenges and the question would end up in the Supreme Court. Would the Kavanaugh court go along with Trump? The New York Times:

President Trump said he was preparing an executive order to end birthright citizenship in the United States, his latest attention-grabbing maneuver days before midterm congressional elections, during which he has sought to activate his base by vowing to clamp down on immigrants and immigration.

“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years, with all of those benefits,” Mr. Trump told Axios during an interview that was released in part on Tuesday. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

In fact, dozens of other countries, including Canada, Mexico and many others in the Western Hemisphere, grant automatic birthright citizenship, according to a study by the Center for Immigration Studies, an organization that supports restricting immigration and whose work Mr. Trump’s advisers often cite.

Um . . . no.

Doing away with birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants was an idea Mr. Trump pitched as a presidential candidate, but there is no clear indication that he would be able to do so unilaterally, and attempting to would be certain to prompt legal challenges….

To accomplish the idea he floated on Tuesday, Mr. Trump would have to find a way around the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

The amendment means that any child born in the United States is considered a citizen. Amendments to the Constitution cannot be overridden by presidential action, and can be changed or undone only by overwhelming majorities in Congress or the states, with a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or through a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of state legislatures.

Hillary Clinton predicted in 2016 that Trump would try this.

Trump is really going all out with the hate leading up to November 6. This is just one more disgusting example of his pandering to the far right while trying to get the media to stop talking about violence attacks that he has contributed to with his rhetoric at his vile Hitler rallies.

Despite pleas from Pittsburgh’s Mayor and members of the Jewish community, Trump plans to go to visit the grieving city this afternoon. NPR: Trump To Visit Pittsburgh Despite Objections From Mayor, Jewish Leaders.

President Trump plans to travel to Pittsburgh on Tuesday afternoon, as the city continues to mourn Saturday’s massacre that claimed the lives of 11 worshippers at a synagogue.

When Trump arrives, he is expected to meet with members of the local Jewish community. But the visit comes despite the wishes of some political and religious leaders who felt that the president should come at a later date — or not at all.

The visit is the same day of the first funerals for those killed at the Tree of Life synagogue.

The city’s Democratic mayor, Bill Peduto, urged the president not to come while friends and families were burying their loved ones.

“I do believe that it would be best to put the attention on families this week and if he were to visit, choose a different time to do it,” Peduto told CNN.

CNN: Local, national officials decline to appear with Trump in Pittsburgh.

Local and national officials are declining to appear with President Donald Trump on Tuesday when he visits a grieving Pittsburgh, where funerals for slain congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue are set to begin.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were all invited to join the President on his visit but declined, according to two congressional sources.

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, was also invited to join Trump in Pittsburgh but declined, according to a spokesman, citing previous commitments in another part of the state.

A spate of local and state officials also said they would not appear with Trump when he visits a hospital and pays respects to the 11 victims of Saturday’s massacre.

The White House has declined to say who the President will meet with when he travels to Pittsburgh on Tuesday afternoon. One official described the visit as “understated.” He’ll be joined by the first lady, as well as daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who are Jewish.

You’d think Trump would postpone this trip when even Mitch McConnell declined to accompany him. I wonder what he’s up to?

And then there’s Mike Pence and his fake rabbi. Pence asked a “rabbi” from “Jews for Jesus” to speak at an event he held in Michigan. The Jewish News: ‘Jews for Jesus’ Rabbi Speaks at Campaign Rally with VP Pence, Lena Epstein

An invocation from messianic Christian rabbi Loren Jacobs at a campaign rally in Waterford for Republican congressional candidate Lena Epstein has sparked outrage mere days after 11 Jews were murdered in Pittsburgh because of their faith.

Vice President Mike Pence, a devout Christian, was at the rally for Epstein. A spokesperson for Pence said he did not know Loren Jacobs of the Messianic congregation Shema Yisrael when he invited him to offer a prayer for the Tree of Life synagogue victims gunned down by an anti-Semite last weekend.

“God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, God and Father of my Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah, and my God and Father too,” Jacobs, wearing a tallit, said. Jacobs was ordained at an evangelical seminary and uses the title “rabbi.” As Pence stood next to him, Jacobs ended his prayer by saying, “in the name of Jesus.”

Jews for Jesus, as many call messianic Christians, are not accepted in mainstream Judaism as one of their main missions is the conversion of Jews to Christianity. After Jacobs’ prayer, many took to social media to express their anger that a Jewish rabbi had not been asked to give the invocation.

A Pence aide told the Associated Press that Jacobs was invited to pray at the event by GOP congressional candidate Lena Epstein…..Rabbi Jason Miller said on Facebook that Epstein could have chosen any one of at least 60 rabbis on a directory of Michigan rabbis. “Yet the only rabbi they could find to offer a prayer for the 11 Jewish victims in Pittsburgh at the Mike Pence rally was a local Jews for Jesus rabbi? That’s pathetic!”

Epstein attempted to justify her recommendation–you can read her statement at the link. It certainly appears that Trump and Pence are trying to signal to their followers that more anti-Semitic violence will be met with shrugs from the administration.

Please check out this Twitter thread by Rafael Shiminov.

Shiminov writes that Jacobs (the fake rabbi) offered prayers for Republican candidates and the Republican Party and did not even pray for the victims of the massacre in Pittsburgh until Pence brought him up after the event to amend his remarks! Shiminov says this sends a clear message to Trumpists.

One final depressing story before I end this depressing post (h/t Delphyne).

The New York Times: 2 Sisters Were Found Dead in the River, Duct-Taped Together. Police Have Few Answers.

A person strolling through Riverside Park last Wednesday afternoon spotted something jarring on the riverbank and called the police.

There, below a small pier that juts out from the park at 68th Street, lay the bodies of two young women, bound together by duct tape at their waists and ankles. They had not been in the water long, the police said. Clad in similar black leggings and black jackets with fur trim, their bodies bore no obvious signs of trauma.

The police initially had trouble identifying the young women. Hints that they might be related surfaced a day after they were found when police sketches revealed striking similarities: the same curly dark hair, the same build, the same skin tone.

By Friday, detectives had learned the women were sisters from Saudi Arabia who lived in Fairfax, Va.

Rotana Farea was 22; Tala Farea was 16. They had a history of going missing, and they had recently requested asylum in the United States, the police said.

But beyond that, the circumstances of their deaths have remained a mystery. Investigators have struggled to piece together how two young women from a city more than 250 miles away turned up along Manhattan’s Hudson River shoreline.

The police are investigating the possibility that the sisters may have carried out a suicide pact, taping themselves together and throwing themselves in the river. But detectives have not ruled out murder. The medical examiner’s office has yet to determine the cause of death. No one has claimed the bodies.

Here’s Twitter thread about this story by Mona Eltahawy.

That’s about all I can handle for today. Please post your own thoughts and links in the comment thread below.


Monday Reads: White Nationalist Terrorism … call it what it is …

Vote Vote Vote!!!!!

Next Tuesday is the day to say no to all this, Sky Dancers! Get out there and start voting because lives depend on it!

Last week has taught us that we have a well armed, aggrieved group of white nationalist men out there that aren’t afraid to take the out the rest of us.  I’m with Greg Sargent of WAPO on this one: “Trump’s hate and lies are inciting extremists. Just ask the analyst who warned us.”  They have one of their own installed at the very top and they aren’t afraid to let the freak flag and bullets fly.

Sargent interviewed  “Daryl Johnson, the former Department of Homeland Security analyst who created a big stir when he authored a leaked report in 2009 warning of a rise in right-wing extremist activity. Conservatives reacted with outrage, and the Obama administration decided it needed to do damage control.”

This is part of the interview:

THE PLUM LINE: Your 2009 report talked about the rise in right-wing extremism as a reaction to Barack Obama’s election and the financial crash. What are the ingredients now?

DARYL JOHNSON: We’ve had almost eight years of far-right groups recruiting, radicalizing and growing in strength. Typically during Republican administrations we see a decrease in activity. But under this administration they continue to operate at a heightened level. One reason why is the rhetoric coming from Donald Trump.

Building a border wall, deporting immigrants, a travel ban on Muslim countries — these are themes discussed on white-nationalist message boards and websites for years, now being endorsed and talked about at the highest levels of the government. He’s retweeted messages about Muslims from conspiracy sites. What keeps these groups energized and active is the fact that the administration has mainstreamed their message and tried to put it forth as policy.

PLUM LINE: Why do these groups usually go into decline during other Republican administrations?

JOHNSON: Militias and anti-government groups get energized under a Democrat because of fear of gun control; the hate groups get active because of liberal Democratic policies extending rights to immigrants, gays, and minorities. During Republican administrations the fear and paranoia get dialed back because they feel the administrations are not going to repeal gun rights or extend rights to minority groups.

PLUM LINE: This is different.

JOHNSON: Yup. Because of the viciousness of the rhetoric painting Democrats as evil and corrupt. And the different themes that resonate with extremists.

PLUM LINE: How does the Pittsburgh shooting fit into all of this?

JOHNSON: The conservative media has echoed the president … about how Democrats are contributing to this migrant exodus coming up from Central America. There’s a conspiracy theory that the Jews are controlling that. There’s been a mainstreaming of the extremist narratives. Things that were once on the outer fringes are now being brought to the forefront by Trump.

Trump juices them up at every rally and every opportunity he gets to speak to them on Fox.  We’ve seen 3 recent attacks and attempted attacks by right wing men who feel emboldened and empowered to take matters into their own hands. Even the one that denounced Trump still spouted the same memes as the others about Jewish Financier George Soros echoing the ongoing and deeply historical conspiracies about Jewish communities controlling the press, the banks, and the financial systems of the world.

All of these men were outraged by the thought of women and children from Honduras coming to seek political asylum in this country as is their right.  The “caravan” of “invaders” is being hyped by Trump at every turn because he thinks it will turn out his base at the polls.  Then, of course, there is forever the trope that Black people take jobs, hand outs, and life style from the white.  Racism is at the root of all of this. White christian patriarchy is at the root of all of this and Trump embodies it all with his freak flag flying at endless political rallies.

Last week, one white supremacist, frustrated by lack of access to a black church where he could’ve slaughtered more, stomped into a store and killed two elderly black people point blank, execution style.  What does it mean when in this country one white man feels so aggrieved he will attack elderly people doing their weekly chores?

Two black senior citizens were murdered in Louisville, Kentucky, on Thursday. Maurice Stallard, 69, was at a Kroger supermarket when Gregory Bush, a 51-year-old white man, walked in and shot him multiple times. Bush then exited the store and shot Vickie Lee Jones, 67, in the parking lot before an armed bystander reportedly fired back, prompting him to flee. Police were unable to confirm accounts that Bush encountered a second armed man, who engaged him in a brief standoff where no shots were fired, according to the New York Times. “Don’t shoot me and I won’t shoot you,” the man’s son, Steve Zinninger, claimed Bush told his father. “Whites don’t kill whites.” Police apprehended Bush minutes later.

Bush had no known connection to either of his victims. Any doubt of a racial motive seemed quelled when surveillance footage showed the shooter forcibly tried to enter a black church minutes before moving on to the supermarket. The Times reports that a member of the 185-year-old First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown grew alarmed when she saw Bush yanking “aggressively” at its locked front doors. Up to ten people were inside the chapel following a midweek service. “I’m just thankful that all of our doors and security was in place,” church administrator Billy Williams said.

The murder of black seniors is a relatively rare phenomenon in the U.S. People over 65 accounted for just 2 percent of black homicide victims in 2014, according to a 2017 Violence Policy Center report, citing that year as the most recent for which data was available. Yet they have been central victims in recent racist killings. From Charleston to New York City and, now, possibly Louisville, some of the 21st century’s most notorious white supremacists have targeted black seniors for violent deaths. The unique cruelty of this pattern magnifies its obvious illogic, demonstrating yet again that white rhetoric framing black people as threats is shallow cover for terrorizing the vulnerable.

Terrorizing the vulnerable is what Trump excels at … this is why he’s sending US military to frighten rather than provide aid and comfort to women, children and families seeking refuge from violence in their country that we’ve basically enabled.  Again, from WAPO: “A conspiracy theory about George Soros and a migrant caravan inspired horror” by Joel Achenbach shows us this same pattern of race baiting.

Conspiracy theories are flourishing in America, from the Oval Office to the fever swamps of the Internet. They include the viral notion that the liberal 88-year-old billionaire George Soros, a Hungarian American Holocaust survivor, is funding the migrant caravan slowly making its way from Central America in the direction of the United States.

It’s not true, but it has apparently fueled homicidal rage in recent days.

Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man whom authorities have accused of mailing more than a dozen bombs to people and organizations President Trump has criticized, appeared to be obsessed with Soros, mentioning him dozens of times on one of his Twitter accounts. Authorities say he mailed one of his bombs to Soros.

Robert D. Bowers, charged with killing 11 people Saturday at a Pittsburgh synagogue, also reposted several viral comments on a since-deactivated social media account about the migrant caravan. One post described the “third world caravan” as a group of approaching “invaders.”

Bowers directly posted a comment referring to “the overwhelming jew problem.” He spoke of the U.S. having a Jewish “infestation,” and reposted another user’s anti-Semitic comment: “Jews are waging a propaganda war against Western civilization and it is so effective that we are headed towards certain extinction within the next 200 years and we’re not even aware of it.”

The Soros/caravan theory dates to late March, when an earlier wave of migrants was heading north, according to an extensive blog post on Medium by Jonathan Albright, director of the Digital Forensics Initiative at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism. One Twitter post, which had no factual foundation, stated, “Caravan of 1,500 Central American Migrant Families Crossing Mexico to Reach U.S. Border All organized by Soros groups to cause more division.”

Jonathan Chait of the Intelligencer at New York Magazine says “Trump’s Ideology Is Anti-Semitism Without Jews.”

In 1991, Pat Robertson, the Christian Right’s most influential leader, wrote a book titled The New World Order. It received almost no attention — who wants to slog through a Pat Robertson book? — until four years later, when Michael Lind called attention to it in the New York Review of Books. Lind’s review provoked a furor by revealing the fantastical conspiracy theory Robertson had unspooled, in which a cabal of “European bankers” had secretly orchestrated two centuries of world events for their personal benefit.

Some of the furor centered on whether Robertson or his worldview should be described at anti-Semitic. In his defense, Robertson insisted that the book made no explicit reference to Jews as the architects of the nefarious global conspiracy he claimed to uncover. This defense was true, as far as it goes. Robertson had essentially removed references to Jews while preserving the framework of a classic anti-Semitic theory. It was anti-Semitism minus Jews.

The divide around which this argument took place is the same grounds upon which President Trump and his defenders argue that they have no relationship with, or responsibility of any kind for, Robert Bowers’s murderous rampage in Pittsburgh. “The evil act of anti-Semitism in Pittsburg was committed by a coward who hated President Trump because @POTUS is such an unapologetic defender of the Jewish community and state of Israel,” insists White House press secretary Sarah Sanders,denouncing press coverage linking Trump’s rhetoric to both the pro-Trump bomber Cesar Sayoc and Bowers.

The far-right faction with which Bowers identifies does oppose Trump as a pro-Jewish sellout, citing such betrayals as his support for Israel and the marriage of his daughter to a Jewish man. Those differences between Trump and murderous anti-Semites are hardly trivial.

Still, Bowers does identify with some of Trump’s goals and rhetoric, because Trump has inspired the racist far right to a degree surpassing any modern American president. His depiction of immigrants as inherently criminal, and his attempts to connect immigration to shadowy cabals of financiers, closely track white supremacist tropes. During the 2016 campaign, Trump has inadvertently slipped over the line between explicit and implicit anti-Semitism when he tweeted out a meme produced by anti-Semites calling Hillary Clinton the “most corrupt candidate ever!” inside a Star of David. (The star signaled to anti-Semites that Clinton’s alleged corruption was in reality a form of control by the Jews.)

More often, he would invoke anti-Semitic themes without any explicit reference to Jews or Judaism. Trump’s closing campaign ad on television denounced “a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities,” over images of Janet Yellen, George Soros, and Lloyd Blankfein, all of whom happen to be Jewish. Trump lambastes his enemies as “globalists,” which, through its implication of extra-national loyalty, closely tracks the primary accusation made against Jews.

Most right-wing thought in general tends to laud the traditional values found in ethnically homogenous rural areas (“real America,” as conservatives habitually call it), and to censure the cosmopolitanism and libertine values of the cities. As a largely urban, educated, and liberal group, Jews naturally find themselves on the negative side of this implicit moral divide. The more sinister strains of this thinking develop conspiracy theories connecting the role of elites and the larger numbers of foreign hordes who seem to pose a threat to the nation’s character.

As David Roberts puts it, this is form of inciting folks to frenzy via conspiracy theories is now rampant in all parts of the Republican party. It is no longer confined to right wing radio loonies like Limbaugh or even the dread Dobbs of Fox.

Additionally, there’s the dread “both siderisms” practiced by most in the media and others trying to equate outrageous acts of terror and murder with citizens expressing anger at public officials in restaurants.

Further exploration of that topic can be found here at Vox by Ezra Klein: Is the media making American politics worse? A difficult conversation about the state of political journalism.”

I want to go a bit further than that. Far from how do we defend American institutions, how do we stop making them worse?

One thing you always get into when you get into any criticism of journalism is that people immediately point to the investigative reporters. God bless the investigative reporters, but that is not what everybody is doing. That’s not what most of what is happening on cable news, for instance, and cable news drives a lot of politics.

Journalism has a definition of newsworthiness. We always say the word means “important,” but it doesn’t really mean important. It is some mixture of important, new, outrageous, conflict-oriented, secret, interesting. There’s a lot of things happening in it. But one of the ways you can hack it is you can just go outrageous enough.

I think of this as the Donald Trump-Michael Avenatti problem. What Donald Trump understood is if you just do the create enough craziness, enough conflict, enough drama, you get all the oxygen in the room. I don’t want to compare him to Trump in his ethics or morals, but I think Michael Avenatti has recognized this way of hacking the system too.

I think about Amy Klobuchar, the senator from Minnesota, probably the most popular senator in the country, given the partisan lean of her state. That’s a remarkable thing. Part of the reason is that she speaks in a way that a lot of people can hear her without getting defensive. I mean, even in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, he began by saying, “Hey, look, I may hate all these other Democrats, but Sen. Klobuchar, I like you.” Then he got in trouble by attacking her, and he actually apologized.

But how does she get coverage speaking like a normal human being? Why does arguably the most popular member of the US Senate not get more day-to-day coverage than Avenatti?

So, I’m going to end with this bit of an interview with Hillary Clinton.  I’m pretty sure it’s a distraction and not helpful to the midterms which is exactly what Journalists try to do.  Create more horse races when not enough exist for them.  Our focus should be on the races coming up Tuesday next and getting a few folks across the finish line to start working on getting rid of Trumpism and stuffing white nationalists back under their rocks or jail whichever is necessary.

Hillary Clinton has indicated she could make a bid for the White House in 2020, saying, “I’d like to be president”.

It comes amid growing speculation that the former Democratic presidential nominee could announce another run following the midterm elections.

Asked whether she would run again by journalist Kara Swisher at a live event in New York, Ms Clinton initially said no.

But when pressed on the issue, Ms Clinton said: “Well I’d like to be president.

“I think, hopefully, when we have a Democrat in the Oval Office in January of 2021, there’s going to be so much work to be done.”

She continued: “I mean we have confused everybody in the world, including ourselves. We have confused our friends and our enemies.

“They have no idea what the United States stands for, what we’re likely to do, what we think is important, so the work would be work that I feel very well prepared for having been at the Senate for eight years, having been a diplomat in the state department, and it’s just going to be a lot of heavy lifting.”

Asked if she personally would be doing any ”lifting”, Ms Clinton said: “I have no idea.”

“I’m not even going to even think about it ‘til we get through this November 6 election about what’s going to happen after that,” she said.

“But I’m going to everything in my power to make sure we have a Democrat in the White House come January of 2021.”

How are these statements indicative of a run?  I ask you?  What’s the purpose of not taking her at her word about she’s done?

The only thing each and every one of us has to do is get as many blue wave voters to the polls including ourselves. This crap has to stop.

Anyway, I have to finish up grading and hide from more news including another school shooting where one student shot and killed another in North Carolina.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Sunday Reads: Murder Victims

I would say these are the Tree of Life Synagogue Murder Victims….

 

As Tree of Life Victims Are Identified, Pittsburgh Rallies Together | Vanity Fair

After yesterday’s devastating shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the city and its wonderful community have been rallying around the synagogue.

Officials at a Sunday morning press conference identified the 11 people killed in the shooting including one married couple and two brothers.

[…]

Prosecutors charged Robert Bowers, the suspected shooter, with 29 counts—including 11 counts of murdering victims who were exercising their religious beliefs and 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder.

[…]

“The news was in the air, along with the shock and the sadness, the grief and the gruesome details, the worst of which were confirmed within hours,” wrote Pittsburgh Post-Gazetteexecutive editor David M. Shribman, who himself lives three blocks from Tree of Life. “You could hear it in the sirens that broke the stillness of the morning and shattered the serenity of the Saturday routines at the cleaners, at the shoe store, at the hotcake house. No need, of course, in a place like this to identify the name of the cleaners, the shoe store, the hotcake house. Everyone knows them, just as they know the names of almost everyone along Forbes Avenue at any time of the day.”

Many have turned to the words of Fred Rogers, who was perhaps the neighborhood’s most famous resident, for comfort. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping,’” Rogers said. The quote traveled across social media, onto CNN and the TodayShow, and into the pages of The New York Times over the weekend. Rogers’s home was three blocks from Tree of Life.

Fox News guest blames CNN after mail bombs: They ‘make no effort’ to understand why people chant ‘CNN sucks’

Fox News guest on Sunday blamed CNN for not trying to understand why people like suspected mail bomber Cesar Sayoc repeat the slogan “CNN sucks.”

During on Fox News segment about the attempted mail bombings, host Howard Kurtz asked if it was fair to blame President Donald Trump for the toxic atmosphere his rhetoric creates.

“I think it’s unfortunate,” Emily Jashinsky of The Federalist said. “And it takes responsibility away from where it belongs: with the sick and twisted individuals who are committing these heinous crimes, whether it’s [the synagogue shooting] or whether it was earlier this week with these pipe bombs. To blame anybody but the people responsible for this, I find disgraceful and unfortunate.”

Then the Democrat Fox had on as a rebuttal:

 

… Adrienne Elrod argued that Trump’s rhetoric “is a big problem here.”

“There is a divisiveness in this country that the president of the United States has created,” she explained. “He criticizes the media. We’ve had media who have had to have Secret Service protection. He’s not doing anything to try to bring this country together.”

But Jashinsky suggested that CNN could have prevented the mail bombs if it had tried to “understand” why Trump fans chant “CNN sucks” at his rallies, where Sayoc was seen with a sign expressing the same sentiment.

Then came the crap…

Jashinsky said that she was hesitant to talk about her views on CNN “because obviously CNN was the victim.”

“They had a device sent to their headquarters — whatever,” she continued. “When you see at rallies people chanting, ‘CNN sucks’ — I would never do it personally — but CNN makes no effort to understand why people feel that way. They do the opposite. Right? They act like they are the victims, that they’ve done nothing wrong to deserve this.”

According to Jashinsky, the lower-third graphics on CNN broadcasts are what “gets people so upset.”

“There’s no room for violence,” she said. “There’s no room to be sending devices to CNN, it has to stop. I hate it. But they need some self-reflection.”

Video at the link…if you care.

One more link:

The True Toll Of Donald Trump’s Words | HuffPost

Saturday morning, President Donald Trump attacked a Democratic Senate candidate on Twitter, calling her a “Nancy Pelosi Wacko!”

Just a short while later, speaking about the horrific shooting massacre in Pittsburgh that killed at least 11 people, Trump lamented, “It’s a terrible, terrible thing what’s going on with hate in our country… It’s a violent world. You think when you’re over it, it just goes away but then it comes back in the form of a madman, a wacko.”

Within a few hours, the president of the United States applied the term “wacko” to one of the most accomplished public servants in our nation’s history and then used precisely the same term for a deranged murderer.

Earlier last week, on the same day that numerous pipe bombs targeted several prominent Democrats and Trump critics, the president declared that, “We have to unify. We have to come together and send the unmistakable message, that acts or threats and political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.”

In the very next breath, Trump returned to his divisive refrains attacking and blaming the media for the hate infecting our country. “The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories,” he said.

The next paragraph of this op/ed goes on with the same shit…tRump is “ignorant of what he does vs he doesn’t care” …I think we all know that he knows exactly what he is doing…and he fucking doesn’t care.

Words matter. Trump more than anybody understands this. From the first day of his campaign, his political strategy has relied on the use of insults like “crooked,” “crazy,” “weak,” “lyin’,” and “wacko” to smear his opponents and mobilize his supporters.

The events of the past week has revealed the true toll that Trump’s words are having on our society. And I am afraid it is only going to get worse.

The scariest thing isn’t that Trump says what he says, it’s that there are those who cheer him for it. Who believe it when he says the free press is “the enemy of the people.” Who laugh when he mocks a disabled reporter. Who chant “lock her up” after Hillary Clinton was mailed an explosive device. Who look the other way when reports surface revealing how foreign powers are eavesdropping on the president’s cell phone conversations because he refuses to use a secure line. Who applaud when he attacks victims of sexual assault. Who would rather militarize schools and churches than consider any reform to our nation’s gun laws.

Read the rest at the link…

One last thing before I go…

 

I spent some time at a local domestic violence crisis center, handing out candy to the children who are being kept safe by staying behind a twelve foot electrified fence topped with razor wire…at an undisclosed location. A prison of “safety” to keep the family protected from the violence of “loved ones” who want to kill them.

I’m going to continue to go back there. I met these three women, I will call them the Ladies Auxiliary…who were a powerhouse of strength. You could tell they had the determination to push through, but the exhaustion was plainly visible. When I told them that my derby name was Jugzz of Fury…. they started laughing and all of them were saying, “Oooo, we got that too….” “Yeah, we have full Jugs of Fury!” Spectacular boobs and luscious curves was a fantastic feature we all shared in common.

There was many children, toddlers..young boys but mostly preteen and teen aged girls…who are at that age where having women with a strong body positive role model is an important.

I am so happy to be a part of WFTDA Roller Derby, it is truly a great experience…Roller Derby is exercise, sisterhood and a form of therapy that is totally beneficial for everyone involved.

If you are on Facebook, be sure to like our page:

 North Georgia Roller Girls – Home

 

 

Anyway, this is an open thread.

 


Saturday Open Thread

By Armando Barrios

Good Afternoon

As has often happened lately, I just don’t know where to begin. I’m late with this because I’ve just spend hours dealing with a family situation that ate up my whole morning and into this afternoon.

As soon as I started look around at today’s news, I saw that there has been another mass shooting–this time at a synagogue in Pittsburg. As of now, MSNBC is reporting that there are 8-10 deaths, but CNN just said there are only 4 confirmed deaths and 12 people shot.

CBS Pittsburgh: 8 Dead, Several Others Shot At Pittsburgh Synagogue.

KDKA’s Meghan Schiller reports that a suspect, a heavy-set white male with a beard, has surrendered. The SWAT team had been talking with the suspect, and he was crawling and injured. It is unclear the extent of his injuries.

KDKA sources confirm to Andy Sheehan that the suspect is 48-year-old Robert Bowers. It is believed that he acted alone.

Police are also investigating if he announced his intentions on Twitter this morning. That account has since been taken down.

Pittsburgh Police spokesman Chris Togneri confirmed that the suspect was in custody and three police officers had been shot. He also confirmed multiple causalities, but did not divulge exactly how many.

Police sources tell KDKA’s Andy Sheehan the gunman walked into the building and yelled, “All Jews must die.” Sheehan’s sources confirmed that eight people were dead. Others had been shot, but the extent of their injuries in unknown at this time.

Trump spoke about the shooting as he departed for another of his Hitler rallies. He didn’t say anything helpful; his main message was that if there had been security inside the temple (I guess he means guns) this wouldn’t have happened.

Press conference now on CNN: The scene inside is very bad. There are multiple fatalities. The injured are being transported to trauma facilities. There will be another press conference at 4PM with government officials and first responders. This is being considered a federal crime and the FBI is leading the investigation.

I’m going to put this post up now, and I’ll had some links to other stories with as soon as it goes up.

The Intercept: Here Is a List of Far-Right Attackers Trump Inspired. Cesar Sayoc Wasn’t the First — and Won’t Be the Last.

Rick Wilson: Of Course Donald Trump Inspired Cesar Sayoc’s Alleged Terrorism.

Jonathan Chait: Trump’s Party Is the Petri Dish for Diseased Minds That Grew Cesar Sayoc.

LA Times: In a week of domestic terrorism, a commander in chief mostly missing in action.

The Atlantic: Trump’s Incoherent Rally in Charlotte.

NYT: Trump, at Charlotte Rally, Tries to Rebuild Political ‘Momentum’ by Reviving Old Attacks

Take care of yourselves today. I love you all.


Friday Reads: “What fresh hell is this” to infinity and beyond!

Well, Sky Dancers!

Two more bombs discovered and an arrest this morning are happening as I frantically type this post!  The bombs were on their way to NJ Senator Corey Booker and James Clapper via CNN.

This morning, the FBI moved on to Southern Florida to the mail processing center where the additional bombs were found and evidence led police to believe that most, if not all, of the bombs were sent from that location.  Plantation, Florida delivered a suspect and an arrest.

The FBI said they think that regional post office processing center is where the pipe bombs first passed through, meaning some if not all of the 10 bombs were mailed from that area to top Democrats and others in New York, Washington, Delaware and Los Angeles

A man in his 50s has been taken into custody and we’ve recently learned that he has been put under arrest.  The police are currently towing a white van that’s plastered with bumper stickers.  The stickers are all right wing in nature. So much for the false flag meme.  Most of it is pro Trump.

Sen. Cory Booker and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper are the latest high-profile figures to be targeted, sources said. –The shops and restaurants at the Time Warner Center in New York, the same complex that houses CNN, were briefly evacuated Thursday night after a false alarm over unattended packages inside the mall, police said.

–Federal investigators chasing leads pointing them to South Florida as a suspected origin of some of the 10 mail bombs sent to prominent Democrats and other public figures, sources said.

–Nationwide investigation underway.

–All 12 suspicious packages went through the U.S. postal system, sources said.

–The suspected mail bombs have been taken to the FBI’s lab in Quantico, Virginia, to be analyzed.

A suspect *is in custody for* a suspected mail bombing *campaign* that targeted top Democrats and other prominent figures across the country, officials said.

Sarah Isgur Flores, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice, confirmed on Twitter Friday morning that one person is in custody. The suspect has not been identified.

“We can confirm one person is in custody,” she wrote.

There’s a presser scheduled for later today.

I’d just like to say that we’ve seen nothing on the scale of this attempt to assassinate leaders since the assassination of Lincoln and the conspiracy to murder other members of his leadership team. Their other targets were Cabinet members.

Perhaps the strangest thing about the Lincoln assassination was how many people were familiar with the president’s murderer.

Even in the rogue’s gallery of people who have tried to kill a president, John Wilkes Booth still gets top billing. A member of the Booth acting clan—the Barrymores of the 19th century—he was a popular actor both north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line, appearing in theaters as far west as Leavenworth, Kansas.

When news of Lincoln’s assassination spread throughout Washington on Friday night and Saturday morning that April 150 years ago, people speaking of it referred to his killer as “the actor Booth.” No other identification was necessary.

To this day, Booth has fascinated historians and the general public alike, because he, more than any other assassin, wreaked such havoc on the nation’s history.

But there is another reason: Unlike his fellow killers, Booth was not demonstrably insane and he was certainly no marginalized nobody. On the contrary, he was a celebrity—an astonishingly handsome and successful actor.

Booth is perhaps one of first examples of the aggrieved white man who has privilege but feels that he’s been oppressed by rights gained by others.  The Trial of Booth and his co-conspirators really is history lesson like no other.  Perhaps, today’s arrest will unravel more evidence of that dark side of who we are..  I hope you take the opportunity to follow this link and discover how our government found and brought these men and one woman to justice.

Meanwhile, let’s see the Trumpsters wiggle out of this one.

I was going to write a lot more about how this event seems closely linked to the same kind of cultural grievances held by the Trumpsters but the news is getting away from us and today, we have experienced a mass assassination attempt unlike anything we’ve see this century.

The danger to our leaders may be over but the danger to our democracy continues.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?