Just for the record: Donald Trump’s executive order today about social media is meaningless, illegal, and unenforceable. It’s red meat for the rubes and nothing more.
Don’t be a rube.
Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week
Amanda Marcotte at Salon writes—Yes, Trump's Twitter threats against Democrats are a "distraction" — but we can't ignore them:
In an effort to get a handle on the endless deluge of awfulness pouring out of Trump, it's become common to describe some of the godawful things he does as "distractions" from other awful things he does. It's an effort to triage our response, apparently on the theory that figuring out which Trump evils rank higher than others can somehow sharpen our efforts to process and resist them. It's an honorable desire based in empirical evidence: Indeed, Trump sometimes does or says nasty things to divert public and media attention from other nasty things he does or says. Unfortunately, this often fails to understand that the nasty stuff Trump does to distract us from other nasty stuff is incredibly dangerous on its own terms, and can't just be shrugged off as a pure or content-free distraction. [...]
Face it, we're going to be wearing masks for a while. Get used to it. Chill, get the best mask ever made. pic.twitter.com/NDuBFjdPD6
— fitzingsworth (@fitone8) May 28, 2020
Open thread below...
On Thursday, U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald held a news conference to ask people to keep the peace and promise they were working hard on investigating the actions of the four police officers who killed George Floyd. The FBI says they need more video before they can make a determination about whether it was murder, because apparently watching 8 minutes of a cop's foot on Mr. Floyd's neck while he pleaded with them and said he couldn't breathe isn't enough.
If you're not angry about that along with being angry about what took place against that man for ALLEGEDLY passing a bogus $20 bill, you should go watch that video a few more times. It's disgusting.
Don Lemon had thoughts about the pace at which justice comes to white cops with their foot on a Black man's neck, as well as Donald Trump's sudden interest in justice for Black people. Rather than paraphrase, I'll just quote the transcript, which I have verified:
Hello, homebound heroes!
I mean, that’s kind of what you are, since you’ve been doing your part to not contribute to the mind-bending total of more than 100,000 Americans who’ve died from COVID-19.
GOP lawmakers, on the other hand, don’t seem particularly dedicated to protecting innocent people from potential coronavirus infections.
Take, for instance, Republicans in the Pennsylvania legislature.
Another Thursday means another set of unemployment claims numbers, and once again, it was bad. More than 2 million more Americans filed for unemployment, bringing the total to 40.5 million over 10 weeks—a number that might still be a significant undercount.
With those figures in mind, it’s no wonder the Trump administration has decided to skip the mid-year economic projection that’s been offered every year for decades. Just as Trump doesn’t want too much coronavirus testing because it might find more cases and make him look bad, he doesn’t want to let bad economic news get out there, either. As if it isn’t everywhere we look.
Liars love liars. Take "Presidential" Medal of Honor recipient Rush Limbaugh explaining why Trump is throwing gasoline canisters of conspiracy theories like an INSANE PERSON all over Twitter. Transcript via Media Matters, annotated by me:RUSH LIMBAUGH: So Trump goes out there and starts tweeting about Jeff Sessions, and then he starts tweeting about [MSNBC host Joe] Scarborough perhaps being a murderer, which I explained yesterday. Trump is Trump. It’s not hard to understand him. But people make it a major chore. It’s easy to understand Donald Trump if you try. A lot of people just don’t want to.
“Why would he do that, Rush? Why would he call attention to himself that way and start accusing Scarborough of -- ” I don’t know, folks, but have you ever tried to imagine what the last four years or three and a half years have been like for Donald Trump? And don’t tell me, “Well, yeah, but, Rush, he’s president. He’s the most powerful man in the world. He ought to know he’s going to get treatment like that, and he ought to be able to let it roll off his back.”
Donald Trump's favorite fake news network, OANN, has been sending its play acting "reporter" to the White House press briefings for the last few months and her questions have gotten more ridiculous by the week. Just last week she asked Kayleigh McEnany if Trump will pardon President Obama. LOL.
Today she upped the ante, asking about Trump's non-stop tweeting about the heartbreaking death of Joe Scarborough's aide almost 20 years ago and the unproven evidence that Scarborough had anything to do with it. The widower of the aide actually sent an impassioned letter to Jack Dorsey (head of Twitter) asking for him to take down the tweets, which Twitter refused to do.
So OANN decided to keep the story in the news even longer by asking the most inane question:
"If Joe Scarborough were innocent, couldn't he sue Donald Trump for defamation? And then, in turn, couldn't Donald Trump's attorneys immediately depose Joe Scarborough and allow him to go under oath and explain how this 28-year old woman was found dead by his desk with multiple skull fractures? Wouldn't Donald Trump welcome a defamation suit from Joe Scarborough?"
Years before now-fired Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of a Black forgery suspect named George Floyd until he died, Sen. Amy Klobuchar had a chance to bring charges against him but didn’t, according to MintPress News. She was chief prosecutor and Chauvin had 17 complaints filed against him over the years, with all but one closed without discipline, according to records Buzzfeed News obtained and shared on Twitter.
Even that discipline only came in the form of a letter of reprimand. And Chauvin wasn’t the only officer Klobuchar spared.
Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff knew he had stocks that could create conflicts of interest. Marc Short, a former White House aide, declared at least some of those problematic stocks in public disclosures when he was hired to head up Pence's office. But Short was apparently never told to purge those holdings and opted not to divest from them after he wasn't offered the tax break sometimes given to government officials who sell stocks in compliance with ethics laws.
Now, according to NPR, Short and his wife own somewhere between half a million and $1.7 million’s worth of stocks in companies that are doing pandemic-related work.
Couy Griffin, the New Mexico Republican whose video was just retweeted by Donald Trump, wants you to know that he wasn’t really calling for people to kill his political opposition when he told a crowd: “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”
Griffin claims he didn’t mean that literally, just politically. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Then he adds that Democrats may yet be convicted of treason: “You get to pick your poison: you either go before a firing squad, or you get the end of the rope.”
Somebody can read the polls. For weeks, a large majority of the American public has been saying that face masks should be worn to help stem the spread of coronavirus, particularly now that states are forging ahead with reopening plans. While Donald Trump is pejoratively calling mask-wearing "politically correct," Mitch McConnell has decided it's safer to pander to the public on this one.
"There's no stigma attached to wearing a mask. There's no stigma attached to staying six feet apart," he said Thursday at an event in Kentucky. He even said "you have an obligation to others," in stressing the need, particularly among young people, to abide by these safety guidelines, especially masks. "That's not too much to ask of a younger person," McConnell said. "So to get through this next phase, as we ease back into normal, even if you're in a low-risk category, do what we're asking you to do for the good of others as we begin to move back to normal." As if McConnell cares about the good of others. No, there's an angle here, a political one.
This is a coastal paintbrush, aka coast Indian paintbrush. At least, I think so. There are several other varieties of paintbrush that look pretty similar, but this seems the most likely ID to me.April 3, 2019 — Orange County, California
Jerry Falwell Jr. has been pushing anti-COVID-19 propaganda for a couple of months now. He tried to keep Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, open during quarantine. He did this in opposition against everyone in Lynchburg and the greater area. He was forced to close the school as reality struck. His school has subsequently been sued for trying to keep students’ money, having mislead many into believing the school was going to be open during the pandemic.
Communities of color are being hammered by coronavirus, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t seem very interested in knowing how bad the situation is—or telling Congress about it, anyway. On the day of a congressional deadline for reporting data on race and COVID-19, the CDC sent Congress 2.5 pages: one page of introductory material summarizing the questions Congress had asked and CDC’s approach, one page of links to public CDC webpages with relevant information, and half a page of conclusion indicating that perhaps at some point the agency will get better data.
The Department of Health and Human Services “should be embarrassed by the lazy, incomplete, 2.5-page copy-and-paste job it calls a ‘report’ on the racial disparities of COVID-19 cases,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted in response. “I'm going to keep fighting until we get this monthly demographic data as required by law.”
As several pundits have pointed out, Donald Trump isn’t spending more time on Twitter than he is on the coronavirus because he’s trying to distract from the 100,000 who have died on his watch. Trump isn’t strategic. This is just where he puts his values. That’s why over the course of the morning, Trump tweeted threats against social media, lies about President Obama, more lies about Joe Biden, and attacks on the Mueller investigation. That’s what he cares about. The only time the two Vietnam War’s worth of Americans he’s done in through incompetence crossed Trump’s mind was when he paused to attack Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's social distancing guidelines.
Donald Trump is a troll who is only concerned about keeping his name at the top of the news no matter how many people have to die to keep it there. Literally. And Twitter is his main tool for trolling.
But sometimes, that tool can be flipped around to smack Trump right in the pumpkin. And Joe Biden did exactly that.
For the second night in a row, sizable protest crowds in Minnesota were met with police action. The protests are in response to the arrest and subsequent brutal death of George Floyd while in police custody. Gov. Tim Walz told CNN that the protests started peacefully enough, but turned “extremely dangerous” after several large fires and looting were reported. The friction between protesters and law enforcement came to a head as police deployed tear gas and “non-lethal” projectiles.
Mayor Jacob Frey confirmed that he has asked for the Minnesota National Guard to be on hand after Wednesday night’s clashes.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo told KARE11 that the “vast majority” of protesters have been peaceful but that it only takes a handful of folks to get tear gas thrown into crowds of people. "I did direct our officers to deploy gas once a secure fence was breached, and those individuals, again not all, but some of those individuals were in our secure parking facility which had access to our Minneapolis squad cars and weapons. I was concerned about the personal safety of not only our officers, but of course those who were in attendance and the general public who was still out there observing."
Well, isn't this prescient?
We are not prepared for a pandemic. Trump has rolled back progress President Obama and I made to strengthen global health security. We need leadership that builds public trust, focuses on real threats, and mobilizes the world to stop outbreaks before they reach our shores. https://t.co/1qqpgayUEX
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 25, 2019
That's the presumptive Democratic 2020 candidate for president, Joe Biden, expressing deep concern about a Washington Post report citing our nation's lack of preparedness for a pandemic. In October 2019. As one twitter user pointed out, this tweet deserves — especially now — to go viral.
How does this tweet not have 10 million retweets. He’s literally warning us six five months before the crisis that the government is not prepared. We know now how right he was. This is leadership. #Biden2020
— Lebowski Urban Achiever (@UrbanAchiever) May 28, 2020
Now that Mitch McConnell's court-packing plan of talking older right-wing judges into retiring so he can replace them with younger, even righter-wing judges has been blessed by Chief Justice John Roberts, it's full-steam ahead. That now includes the odious Sen. Lindsey, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Our old pal Huckleberry is joining the effort, asking judges in "your mid-60s, late 60s" to step aside. "This is an historic opportunity," Graham said in an interview with Hugh Hewitt Thursday. "We've put over 200 federal judges on the bench. […] If you can get four more years, I mean, it would change the judiciary for several generations. So if you're a circuit judge in your mid-60s, late 60s, you can take senior status, now would be a good time to do that, if you want to make sure the judiciary is right of center." These judges wouldn't have to actually retire, they could stay on the bench with "senior status," taking a reduced workload but still serving.
Former Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed was a top surrogate for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential effort, a Justice Democrat, and now, head of a PAC focused on liberal down-ballot candidates. Also, he just took to the pages of Newsweek to write that Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren “as a running mate would make Biden unstoppable in the Midwest.” I don’t think anyone makes Biden “unstoppable” in the key battleground states—they’ll be real dogfights—but it does show that when it comes to party unity, the left flank is closing ranks around Warren.
Old polling and a brand-new one agree—Warren would best help Biden unite the party.