Democrats are the party of diversity, and Latinas are becoming a bigger part of it

Daily Kos - Sun, 10/28/2018 - 09:00

The United States Congress should mirror the diversity of this nation. The Republican majority doesn’t. But Democrats are continuing to forge a party and field candidates who represent “us,” the rich tapestry of people who make up the citizenry of the United States. 

“We can change the direction of this country,” said Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, and chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.


Luján points to the campaigns of diverse Democrats running for office this year: vets, women, LBGTQ Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, and Latinos.

Following up on my story from last Sunday about the importance of supporting organizations who are working hard to get out the Latino/Hispanic vote, one of the things discussed frequently was the fact that we as Democrats can’t expect Latinos to be super enthused about voting when they see a Congress and Senate that doesn’t reflect their diverse communities. 

There are Latinx running this year who understand that, and are taking action to fire up their supporters and get new folks involved. They will be joining other Democratic members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus when they win, and are sworn in, in January, 2019. Their campaigns are bringing out young voters, and older people who have never voted. 

Quite a few of those candidates are Latinas.

One of the things I realized when researching this story was that though I was aware of many Latinos running for or already in office in the New York metro area, most that I knew about, supported, and followed were Puerto Rican or Dominican. So I decided to educate myself about other campaigns— because if we truly want to see a blue wave take place in this country, we need to support candidates across the U.S. and not simply on our home turf.

My first surprise was Delaware, where I discovered two Latinas are running for the state House.

Categories: Politics

Sunday Morning Bobblehead Thread

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 10/28/2018 - 08:00

George Salazar singing "Michael in the Bathroom" from Be More Chill by Joe Iconis

This has been a terrible, horrible, very bad, no good week that I don't think it benefits any of us to rehash at the moment. So I want to focus instead on something that gives me hope.

This is my daughter's buddy, George, singing from his cabaret show "Two Player Game" with partner/songwriter Joe Iconis. My daughter became acquainted with both George and Joe through the musical Iconis wrote: Be More Chill. Based on a Young Adult novel written by the late Ned Vizzini, BMC was produced off-off-off-off Broadway (specifically, in New Jersey) in 2015.

read more

Categories: Politics

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Pittsburgh, Pipe-bombs, and the rotten core of the problem

Daily Kos - Sun, 10/28/2018 - 07:00

It’s 10PM on Saturday and the last two hours of this day can’t run out fast enough. This is one of those days that definitely needs to be over. Not that time or distance will improve it. Not only did this day show that the Antisemitism festering in too many places, and too many people, in America can erupt in moments of horrible violence, it was a reminder that no healing is possible so long as Donald Trump remains center stage. Trump took a grieving nation today and rubbed salt in every wound. Rather than acknowledging the issues, he blamed the victims. Rather than look for solutions, he demanded more death. Rather than providing consolation, he complained about how hard this day was for … Donald Trump.

By the way, if you were watching yesterday for Abbreviated Science Round-up or This Week in Space … first off, bless you. But the events of the day demanded that those pieces, even though they might have provided a diversion, just were not possible against the pace and content of the day’s news. Expect these features to return in two weeks, once the election is in the rear view. 

Okay, let’s read some pundits. The weird thing is … many of these articles were written earlier in the week. It’s almost as if they were sadly, horribly, prescient. Except that the events of the last two days were all too easy to predict. The word is … inevitable.

Leonard Pitts on how Donald Trump promotes violence in the name of politics.
Miami Herald

He just can’t help himself, can he? Seems like every time he opens his mouth, out falls the bovine excreta, great lumps of hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance.

He was at it again Wednesday. The mind reeled as Trump, arguably America’s most enthusiastic proponent of political violence, made a statement deploring political violence. This, as investigators sought the person or persons who sent explosive devices to CNN as well as to Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Maxine Waters, Eric Holder and other prominent critics of Trump’s chaos presidency.

No, Trump isn’t the first president to say something at sharp variance with what he said before. Obama once claimed he never said, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” George W. Bush once claimed his administration never advocated “stay the course” in Iraq.

This is an article that Leonard Pitts wrote on Thursday. What was the topic of the day? How Donald Trump was inspiring violence against his opponents. In fact, Trump’s uniquely negative ways in which Trump demonizes his opponents — crooked, lying, enemies of the people, evil — and the way he has from the beginning encouraged his followers to engage in fantasies of violence toward protesters, toward his opponents, and towards the media didn’t just lay the groundwork for the events of the last few days. It made them all but inevitable.

Categories: Politics

Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Iris, the Rainbow Flower

Balloon Juice - Sun, 10/28/2018 - 03:59

From gifted photographer and ever-dependable commentor Ozark Hillbilly:

I love irises. To me they are insanely beautiful.

The one in the top photo was already here when we bought the place. The rest are types I bought at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Iris show and sale back in 2015. I hope they do another, I’d like to get my hands on a few more rare beauties even if I have to take out a 2nd mortgage to pay for them.

My favorite tomato-plant vendor has posted her offerings for next year. I’m considering putting in a severely downscaled order right now, while the memory of this year’s disheartening crop failure is fresh in my mind. But that means I’ll have to stay off *all* the tomato mail-order sites come February, and I’m not sure I have the strength of will to resist…

What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?

Categories: Politics

A Fantastic New Lyric Video From Sara Bareilles: "Armor"

Little Green Footballs - Sun, 10/28/2018 - 00:22

“Armor” available at http://smarturl.it/Armor

Director: Morgan Gruer
Producer: Erin Muscatelli
Production Company: Ghost Robot, Inc.

Sara Bareilles online:

(C) 2018 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment


Categories: Politics

A Housekeeping Note on Security

Balloon Juice - Sun, 10/28/2018 - 00:12

If anyone’s religious congregation or other more secular organization is concerned about their security protocols, please feel free to put them in touch with me. I’ve done a lot of work on that over the years. It would be an honor and privilege to help you/them out. I can always be reached through the contact a front pager tool in the drop down menu at the top right of the page.

For everyone’s convenience, I’m attaching a paper below this post that I did for a contact at DHS back in 2013 when I was assigned at US Army War College. It deals with what needs to be considered when working through security considerations. Some of you may find it of use for your synagogue, church, mosque, ashram, stupa, other house of worship, or other secular organizations you’re affiliated with in regard to this ongoing insanity. It is adapted from my 2006 article in Security Journal, which was derived from the work I did on anti-terrorism for corporate security at Disney University in 2004 (I’m a Mickey Mouse professor!).

Everyone try to have as good a remainder to your weekend as possible.

Open thread!

Categories: Politics

Gab,The Vile Alt-Right Social Network, May Be Getting Shut Down

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 23:55
Gab,The Vile Alt-Right Social Network, May Be Getting Shut Down

Gab, the Twitter and Facebook alternative social media site, may be going down after a glaring spotlight was shown on it following the horrific mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Pittsburgh, PA on Saturday.

A little history on Gab: It was created in August of 2016 as a platform where people who had been banned from Twitter could congregate and spew the hate speech that had gotten them kicked off more mainstream platforms. Some of Gab's more prominent alt-Right users include Ricky Vaughn, Milo Yiannopoulos and Richard B. Spencer. Oh and Robert Bowers, the White Nationalist who murdered 11 people and injured 3 others at the synagogue shooting on Saturday.

Hours after his vile posts were brought to light (we will not post them here because we do not feel like giving his hateful views oxygen is necessary), Paypal banned Gab from it's platform because they reviewed the account and found that it engaged in the "perpetuation of hate, violence or discriminatory intolerance". The Daily Beast is also reporting that Gab's hosting provider is pulling its services. Gab tweeted

Categories: Politics

Open Thread - Egg Hunt?

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 23:30
Open Thread - Egg Hunt?

Open thread below...

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Categories: Politics

C&L's Chiller Theater: The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers (1946)

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 23:01

The wealthy Martha Ivers (played by Barbara Stanwyck) is the center of power in a town named for her family. Her husband (played by Kirk Douglas) is the district attorney -- a weak, alcoholic loser. No one can figure out why they stay together, until one day someone out of their past returns to town...

One critic describes this underrated film noir classic as a film "that tends to get away with more than it seems to be getting away with."

That sounds about right.


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Categories: Politics

With Roe Expected To Get Overturned, Ohio Needs Pro-Choice Governor, AG

Plunderbund - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 22:53

For decades, many politicians eagerly pledged support for ending safe and legal abortion, knowing that Roe v. Wade rendered those pledges meaningless. That all changed with the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh for a life-time appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

With Justice Kavanaugh cementing the court’s conservative majority, Roe will be overturned or gutted.  The court won’t automatically make abortion illegal. Instead, it’s expected to find a case that returns decisions about its legality to the states, where a patchwork of existing laws already makes abortion difficult to access in Ohio and many other states.

Recently we have seen how far anti-abortion politicians will go to criminalize abortion—including ridiculing survivors of sexual assault. The Kavanaugh hearings surfaced painful memories of sexual harassment and assaults for many of us. Though it is daunting, we must channel our pain and anger into action.

Nov. 6 is a landmark election for reproductive freedom in Ohio and who wins the governor’s race will determine whether our reproductive rights stay are taken from us.  Republican Mike DeWine has pledged to criminalize abortion if he is elected governor. Democrat Richard Cordray promises to protect access to abortion and contraception.

Along with electing a new governor, Ohio will elect a new attorney general. Both offices are vital to preserving abortion access and reversing the setbacks Ohio has endured under Gov. John Kasich and Attorney General DeWine. Ohio has gone from 16 abortion clinics to eight, and a recent court ruling could force the Dayton Area’s remaining clinic to close. Ohio also has seen 20 new restrictions on reproductive health care under Kasich and DeWine.

DeWine is so eager to outlaw abortion that he’s pledged to ban abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy. He would likely go even further by signing House Bill 565, which would outlaw all abortions, without exception, subjecting anyone who receives or provides one to murder charges. Either bill would force tens of thousands of women each year to continue pregnancies against their will–even the critically ill, and rape and incest survivors—or face the death penalty.

Although the Ohio Attorney General has important powers to protect consumers, DeWine is under fire for ignoring a complaint from a nonprofit watchdog, the Campaign for Accountability. The June 5 complaint asks his office to investigate deceptive practices common at taxpayer-financed crisis pregnancy centers. The anti-abortion movement has successfully lobbied for expansion of these centers that deceptively market themselves as health clinics, then use misinformation to try and deter women from choosing an abortion.

The complaint accuses Elizabeth’s New Life Center (ENLC), in Dayton, and Heartbeat of Toledo of violating the Ohio laws that ban false advertising and unsavory business practices.  ENLC operates seven fake clinics in the Dayton area, which it calls Women’s Centers of Ohio.

People looking for abortion information online are often led to the websites of these fake clinics, which don’t support or provide abortion care but hide that information deep in the site. A NARAL intern went undercover at a Dayton center and an employee told her that complications from an abortion are common and if she developed any no local doctor would treat her. Neither is true.

Contrast DeWine’s inaction on the complaint with his quick assault on Planned Parenthood after it was falsely accused of illegal trafficking in fetal tissue. DeWine rushed to court to sue Planned Parenthood. Ohio taxpayers paid nearly $50,000 to settle his legal blunder.

Ohio faces a reproductive health care crisis. Maternal and infant mortality are rising. The rate for Black women and their children is twice that of their white counterparts. Hispanic women face twice the risk of developing cervical cancer. While barriers to abortion are severe, paid maternity leave and affordable childcare are grossly inadequate.

We must reverse this downward spiral by stopping DeWine from becoming governor of Ohio and David Yost from becoming attorney general. Yost joined DeWine at the press conference to falsely accuse Planned Parenthood of breaking the law. Steve Dettelbach, the Democrat running for attorney general, has promised to support a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.

This is not a drill. Our lives, our rights and our futures are on the line.


Kellie Copeland is the Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio

Categories: Politics

Open thread for night owls: Well before the Pittsburgh slaughter, anti-semitic acts had soared

Daily Kos - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 22:30

From the Anti-Defamation League on February 27, 2018

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said in a new report today that the number of anti-Semitic incidents was nearly 60 percent higher in 2017 than 2016, the largest single-year increase on record and the second highest number reported since ADL started tracking incident data in the 1970s.


The sharp rise, reported in ADL’s Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, was in part due to a significant increase in incidents in schools and on college campuses, which nearly doubled for the second year in a row.

There were 1,986 anti-Semitic incidents reported across the United States in 2017, including physical assaults, vandalism, and attacks on Jewish institutions. That figure represents a 57 percent increase over the 1,267 incidents in 2016. Every part of the country was affected, with an incident reported in all 50 states for the first time in at least a decade.

“A confluence of events in 2017 led to a surge in attacks on our community – from bomb threats, cemetery desecrations, white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, and children harassing children at school,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “These incidents came at a time when we saw a rising climate of incivility, the emboldening of hate groups and widening divisions in society. In reflecting on this time and understanding it better with this new data, we feel even more committed to our century-old mission to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.”

The Guardian reported at the time:

Donald Trump’s administration has been accused of failing to condemn religious bigotry. Jewish groups scolded the president last year for not mentioning Jews or antisemitism in a statement about the Holocaust.

Following August violence at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacists waved insignia from Nazi Germany and yelled “Jews will not replace us”, Trump was slammed for suggesting a moral equivalency between members of the far right and counterdemonstrators. “You had people that were very fine people on both sides,” he said.

The ADL’s report said US schools and colleges were particularly affected, with antisemitic incidents nearly doubling since 2016, often including swastikas drawn on school facilities or Jewish students’ notebooks. Sometimes vandalism included phrases such as: “Hitler was not wrong” or “white power”.






On this date at Daily Kos in 2007Tell Me One Good Thing About a Candidate You Don't Back:

Here we are, mere weeks away from [primary] votes being cast in what may well be the most crucial presidential election since '68, and, not surprisingly, we're shrieking at each other. Again. That's politics, leftist-style, progressive-style, Democratic-style. Perhaps it could be done without shrieking, but it isn't, and I doubt it ever will be.

For the moment, however, for one brief pause, I'd like to see everyone who's already selected a presidential candidate to write one positive and substantive thing about the policies and/or political behavior of a candidate s/he doesn't support. Something positive and substantive about which your candidate isn't as good.

Not a compliment that conceals a slap. Not a yes, but... Rather something that you wish your chosen candidate would adopt without reservation. Something that, if the time comes when your favored choice fails to get the nomination, will make you feel better about voting in November 2008 for that other candidate.

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.”


Categories: Politics

Megyn Kelly is the personification of white (woman) privilege and its elements within the media

Daily Kos - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 22:00

A recent poll found that, among Trump voters, there is a belief that men are the most discriminated-against group in the United States. Trump supporters think men have it worse than people in LGBTQ communities, African-Americans, or Mexican-Americans. In the past, I’ve written a lot about conservatives seeing themselves as victims and how that mirrors trends in popular culture. There is a significant portion of white people, and especially white men, who are frustrated about what they don’t have and what others might get, and who see their equalized status within society as a slight against their worth as a person. These are the people nodding when black athletes are castigated for exercising their rights to protest. These are the ones watching Tucker Carlson every night when he denounces the value of diversity. And these are the people who get coddled with long news segments and think pieces excusing support for the despicable, lecturing critics about how these fools need to be understood with “civility.”

Just as some journalists have a problem using the word “liar” when it’s warranted, there is a tendency within the media to not like calling racist behavior the work of “racists,” even when Nazis with Tiki torches may be involved. Some months back, Meghan McCain defended Trump voters’ strained grasp on reality on The View by saying these are people who “didn’t have any other choice.” And therein lies the great truth about white privilege: White people who act like horrible assholes get a certain benefit of a doubt and an active defense of rationalizations that people of color and other minority groups never do.

Categories: Politics

Taking Stock After This Week’s Domestic Terrorism Incidents: Where We Are and What Comes Next

Balloon Juice - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 21:41

In the wake of the mail bombing campaign of the past week and the synagogue attack today, I think we all need to be prepared for a seriously increased threat level. Not necessarily from any specific person or group, but in what we generally refer to as stochastic terrorism. We know attacks will happen, we may even have a general idea of who and/or what the targets may be, but we can’t identity/specify specific targets, nor can we identity/specify when the attacks will happen, how they will be carried out, or who will undertake them. This increase is the result of several things. The first is that the President has decided to double down on not trying to lead the entire country, but rather rule on behalf of the 26% or so of the country that is his hard base and another 13% or so consisting of Republicans who are willing to go along with this. The second is that the President’s most fervent supporters, the hard base of the Republican Party, have become so radicalized because of Fox News, talk radio, conservative social media and other conservative news and information sources, and frankly the Russian psychological and information warfare that seeks to leverage this for Putin’s own objectives of ripping American civil society apart, that they are now all in for an American version of herrenvolkism. Specifically, a herrenvolk system of white supremacy where white, (evangelical and some traditionalist Catholic*) Christians rule and everyone else is either tolerated in a less than first class citizenship status or is removed from American society. The third is the result that because of the President and his fervent base of supporters who are the base of the Republican Party, the official Republican Party institutions and structures, as well as the conservative movement institutions and structures that support and comprise it, have gone all in with the President’s and the President’s base’s vision of America.** Just today one of the official Republican Party campaign arms released another anti-George Soros/anti-globalist campaign ad negatively targeting a Democratic candidate.

The result of all of this is that a closed feedback loop of ideas have been created that encompasses the President, the Republican Party and the conservative movement, and their structures and institutions, Republican elected and appointed officials, conservative movement leaders, conservative news and social media, and the base of the Republican Party. That feedback loop inculcates and reinforces a belief that white, (evangelical and some traditionalist Catholic) Christians are the only actual victims in the US. That they’re oppressed. That ethnic and religious minorities, as well as other white Christians who are race traitors, seek to take away their rights and privileges as part of a nefarious, organized plan to destroy America. An America which they define as a white, Christian nation. Moreover, this closed informational loop is pulling the extremist right – the hard core white nationalist and supremacists, anti-Semites, Islamophobes, homophobes, xenophobes, and nativists – from the extreme fringes fully within the mainstream of conservative and Republican thought, action, and politics.

Because of the social learning dynamic of imitation, Sayoc’s bombing campaign and Bowers’ shooting spree, as well as the President’s blaming the victim this morning will provide permission for others to act. The President’s comments regarding both Sayoc’s and Bower’s acts of terrorism are classic examples of what criminologists call neutralization and drift. Specifically: 1) denial of responsibility; 2) denial of injury; 3) denial of victim; 4) condemnation of the condemners; and the 5) appeal to higher loyalties. The first three justifications all deal with denial. They allow the offender to rationalize his behavior as outside of his control. He or she is not really hurting anyone. And even if someone is hurt they may have deserved it. The fourth justification allows the offender to invert the knowledge of her wrongdoing back upon those criticizing it by asserting that the condemners are hypocrites, do equally bad things, or are out to get him. Finally, the fifth rationalization allows for the justification of behavior on the basis of loyalty to one’s group rather than one’s society. 

The elections in two weeks will only make things worse. If the Democrats take at least the House and a number of state governorships and state legislatures as is currently forecast, let alone if they thread the needle and take the Senate, the terrorism will increase. Unfortunately, the President and his supporters who are the base of the Republican Party are the sorest winners since the southern slave power in the 1850s and 1860s kept refusing to take yes for an answer. So if the Republicans are able to maintain or expand their majorities in the House and the Senate, as well as in state governments, I fully expect that the terrorism and low intensity political violence will increase. Winning will be taken as a sign that the American people want more of what has been building for the past two years. As a result, the President, an even more extremist, radical, and revanchist set of Republican congressional majorities, the Republican Party and conservative movement, conservative news and social media, and the actual base of the Republican party will simply accelerate what we’ve been observing and responding to since January 2017. 

Stay alert! Stay focused! And vote! Vote like your life and America’s life depends on it! Make sure everyone you know votes like their lives and America’s life depends on it. And prepare yourself for what’s coming regardless of the outcome of the mid-term elections.

Open thread!

* I fully expect that this marriage of convenience over a few theologically aligned political issues, such as abortion and homosexuality, will completely unravel where the Republican base get what it wants. At that point I expect that the evangelical community will turn first on the Catholics as papist apostates and then on each other as none of the three major divisions among white evangelicals in the US – evangelicals, charismatics, and fundamentalists – actually agree on how to apply their sectarian and denominational views to everyday life.

** I want to make it very clear that I take no pleasure in writing this. It is both a shame and a tragedy that we have reached a point where the President of the United States and one of the only two political parties we allow ourselves, as well as the political, social, and religious movements and communities that support both the President and the Republican Party, not only can be described this way. We are, unfortunately, no longer in a place where we are, as Americans, dealing with partisan disagreements over marginal tax rates or which level of government is best to oversee education policy. If we are very, very fortunate, we may once again get through this, establish a new normal, and find ourselves back in such a reality.

Categories: Politics

Nuts & Bolts: Inside a Democratic campaign—Help a voter out!

Daily Kos - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 21:00

Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D.I.Y.ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide.

In the end, every campaign has one goal: to secure enough votes to win. While we’d like to think that voting in America was so easy that everyone took it for granted, voting for many in American can be difficult or time-consuming. Getting voters to turn out and vote for your campaign, though is a necessity, so this week we’re going to talk about some of the strategies that can be put in place to help voter outreach in your down-ballot race.

Categories: Politics

The Good Place

Balloon Juice - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 19:34

Genine and I had a lazy morning and then headed out to the big city for the meet the candidates event at the Crooked Dock in Wellsburg. A pretty good turnout:

Here’s AJ Thomas, who is running to be the Brooke County Commissioner:

And here is Joe Manchin speaking with Kendra Fershee right behind (in a very on point blue outfit with yellow scarf):

Genine and Kendra had a nice conversation- Genine can speak for herself in the comments, and Joe was, well, Joe.

Right now Genine is making me watch the Good Place on Netflix, which is not interminable and at some points mildly amusing, but overall a touch tedious and over the top cutesy/clever. On the upside, if I pretend to watch it while surfing the internet Genine will not hector me to watch something else, so it’s a compromise I am willing to make. Genine clearly values communication more than I do.

WHat are you all up to?

Categories: Politics

Our Failed Media Open Thread:Both Sides!, They Bleat, Frantically

Balloon Juice - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 19:10

But when it comes to the real maestros of mealy-mouthing, there’s one publication leads the pack…

Categories: Politics

A Penetrating Glimpse Of The Obvious

Balloon Juice - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 14:59

Thirty six years ago, on September 12, 1982, a Lebanese Maronite militia invaded two refugee camps occupied by Palestinians.  As The New York Times remembered on the 30th anniversary of the disaster,

In the ensuing three-day rampage, the militia, linked to the Maronite Christian Phalange Party, raped, killed and dismembered at least 800 civilians, while Israeli flares illuminated the camps’ narrow and darkened alleyways. Nearly all of the dead were women, children and elderly men.

That reference to the flares points to the miserable truth behind the blood and broken bodies:  the people on the spot, those militiamen handled the killing.  They pulled the triggers, broke the women, shattered the bodies. They were guilty of those crimes; they did the worst that human beings can do.

But there were others who stood aside, hands nominally clean while the predictable result of their actions and their studied inactions played out in Sabra and Shatila.

After the fact, the Israeli government ordered an investigation into the massacres, and they got a real one.  It concluded that

Israeli leaders were “indirectly responsible” for the killings and that Ariel Sharon, then the defense minister and later prime minister, bore “personal responsibility” for failing to prevent them.

Sharon didn’t fire a single shot; no blood spattered the shoes of his colleagues, and the Israeli soldiers on the front lines in Lebanon did nothing more than stay out of the way.  But as the report concluded, those in charge in Israeli knew what would happen if the Maronite militias gained free rein in the camps, and they let events unfold anyway. They were guilty not of murder, but of enabling the killings, of giving permission for an atrocity.

Adam, below and elsewhere, has laid out a compelling case that Donald Trump is similarly guilty of complicity in the ongoing racist and anti-Semitic violence occurring now in America’s civic space.  When you tell armed and angry supporters that they have enemies, that those enemies are ruthless, relentless, and Jewish or Black or Brown, then for all that Trump himself never slams home a magazine, he’s the man giving those who do kill a target list and permission to go after it.

What I want to add to that is that this responsibility, this complicity in the slaughter of innocents lies with the entire public apparatus of the Republican Party.  They have had every opportunity to push back on Trump’s white supremacy, his barely-coded demonization of Jews, his overt and explicit racism.  Concerned Jeff Flake and sincere Susan Collins — and the more important figures, the Paul Ryans and the Mitch McConnells and the Mitt Romneys and the rest — all had opportunity after opportunity to say no.  Just no: that this isn’t what the Republican Party is about; that it’s dangerous and hateful and so on.

Instead we got the pieties, “incivility” policing and the rest.

And now we have a body count of at least ten in just the last two days, not even to mention the assassination campaign that fortunately did not succeed.  They were all victims of exactly the kind of hatred Trump explicitly fomented as recently as last night — after the two deaths in Louisville, KY.

Democrats’ condemnation is important, because the country has to hear that hate is vicious, deadly, and to be reviled.  But as a matter of effectiveness, the Republicans have a far greater duty here: they can hold Trump priorities hostage, and they give permission to the GOP “tribe” to recognize that there are, there need to be, lines beyond which our politics should not go.

That’s the duty the Republican party has entirely failed. It’s why the current GOP must go, root and branch.  And it is why each Republican in power — the elected officials and their staffs, the party apparatus, all of them — bear exactly the same kind of indirect responsibility carried by the Israeli commanders and politicians who presided over those massacre.  It didn’t take a genius to realize that a nightly incitement to violence would end in actual murder. As it has, repeatedly over the last two years, and ten more times in the last two days.

I got nothing more. The US government is in the hands of a cabal that is, so far, willing to trade street murder for tax cuts and Supreme Court seats.  That rule has to end.  Which we knew.  Hence the PGO.

Images: Nicholas Poussin, Massacre of the Innocents, before 1665.

Mattia Pretti, Pilate washing his hands, 1663.

Categories: Politics

Non-Political Open Thread

Balloon Juice - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 14:20


I’m just gonna watch this, over and over, for the next few hours…

Categories: Politics