The word of the week is emboldened. That is, to make bold, or bolder. I’ve heard it so much in the last six months, and at least half of that in the last 72 hours, that I can’t even. Use it in a sentence? Sure: The new administration has emboldened white supremacists to march in front of cameras without the usual hoods and robes.
After which many whine like little bitches, I might add.
I don’t like words like emboldened. No one uses it in casual conversation. It’s a journalese word/phrase, like solons or controversial or racially charged. And yet I’ve heard it over and over this week, because racists be emboldened. Make of that what you will.
With that, I offer this advice to an emboldened president: Keep digging, and make the grave big enough for two. My alma mater “reluctantly” endorsed Trump, on the grounds that Mike Pence would be both a moderating influence and a steady hand at the helm of the good ship Conservatism. Perhaps this was based on the fact Pence looks like the captain of a cruise ship, or at least the guy in gold epaulets that they send out to schmooze with the paying customers while autopilot and the first mate keep the ship away from icebergs, but man, talk about an ignominious choice. They were one of only a tiny handful of papers to endorse Trump, and that gasbag from Hillsboro, Ohio keeps getting the Washington Post platform to explain Trump love to the nation. And they’re still writing witless editorials about Pence, their great white hope for a less embarrassing presidency. As if he weren’t clapping and smiling and nodding along with every damn crazy-ass thing that’s happened since November. As if he didn’t call serving President Many Sides the greatest honor of his life. As if, as if, as if.
Enough. At least for the next paragraph. I kick off the bloggage with a heartbreaking story from Bridge which is still worth your time, about what really happens after the plucky girl attorney gets the wrongfully accused man released from prison. A sobering look at what our misguided judicial and incarceration policies can end up costing us in the end. Read. It’s really good.
Where is the country’s nastiest GOP primary? In the Hoosier state, says Politico, Rokita v. Messer for the U.S. Senate. Guess who’s the bad guy with the Indiana GOP:
Rokita ran particularly afoul of the state Legislature — where Messer had quickly risen up the ranks during a stint several years earlier — in 2009, as lawmakers began preparing for the once-in-a-decade redistricting process. Then in his second term as secretary of state, Rokita proposed making it a felony for lawmakers to consider politics when drawing political boundaries. He toured the state promoting his idea and drew up sample maps with new boundaries.
The Legislature bristled at Rokita’s suggestion, which would have given his office new power and disrupted lawmakers’ safe seats. The state Senate president — a fellow Republican — said Rokita had “crossed the line.”
Oh, and a small tech note, via J.C.: The company at the center of this story, resisting a warrant for lots of user data on visitors to an anti-Trump site, is the same one that hosts the site you’re reading now. Courage, DreamHost! I’m with you, anyway.
Into the midweek hump we go. I’m still digesting lunch. Damn shwarmas — they lure you in with their deliciousness, and stick around all. Damn. Day.
Deborah said on August 15, 2017 at 7:45 pm
Well, “ignominious” isn’t a word you read every day either.
Suzanne said on August 15, 2017 at 8:17 pm
Maybe not “ignominious” but “ignoramus” has surely crossed my mind more than once today.
The pièce de résistance of Trump’s news conference today had to have been his blathering on about the CEOs that quit his economic council. They are losers, you know. He tried to tell them that they needed to make their stuff here in the USA but they wouldn’t listen, so he’s glad they are gone. He won’t have any trouble finding someone else.
We all know that Trump’s goods as well as his daughters are made overseas. How can people listen to this crap with a straight face?
coozledad said on August 15, 2017 at 8:44 pm
Hey, which Republicans are ready to stand up and kill Baby Hitler? here’s your actual fucking chance.
susan said on August 15, 2017 at 9:34 pm
Someone needs to take him out. Oh, uhm, yeah, I mean Congreƒƒ needs to take him out.
Peter said on August 15, 2017 at 10:18 pm
I wish one of those reporters would just call bullshit on one of his statements and see if he gets an aneurysm from yelling back. Now THAT would be must see television.
ROGirl said on August 16, 2017 at 6:07 am
This seemed cheesy and obvious the first time I saw it, but here we are today, and it feels about right.
nancy said on August 16, 2017 at 8:43 am
The last time one of those buzz-cut little shits posted that on Twitter, Jason Kander, the former Missouri AG who ran unsuccessfully for Senate last year, pointed out that his gay uncle wrote it.
brian stouder said on August 16, 2017 at 8:50 am
The Ron French article is wonderful and terrible, all at once.
alex said on August 16, 2017 at 9:46 am
My fave song from Cabaret:
coozledad said on August 16, 2017 at 10:24 am
On the whole, good people. A little racist, a little murder enabling, a little bit fascist, but good people. The people you’d want spilling your blood to defend their soil.
Fucking scum of the earth, Republicans.
coozledad said on August 16, 2017 at 10:38 am
This isn’t solely Trump’s handiwork. It’s been institutionalized in his party since 1948.
Sherri said on August 16, 2017 at 11:14 am
I’m with Josh Marshall. I didn’t find trump’s reaction surprising. This is who he is. The house is on fire, and it’s been on fire.
Julie Robinson said on August 16, 2017 at 11:25 am
Coozledad, I think we all owe you an apology for not taking you seriously as you’ve been telling us about the cancer in our country over these last few years. I’m often uncomfortable with your language but I see it clearly as never before.
During the Obama years I really thought we were living in a post-racial society. I saw how my kids and their friends don’t make any distinctions of race or sexual preference but accept everyone equally and thought that was our future.
As I’ve been following events and reading since Saturday, I’ve come to understand that the white supremacy movement is much deeper, much stronger, and much more well-armed than most of us had any clue. They aren’t going away and they can’t be ignored. The threat they represent can tear this country apart, leaving it even weaker and vulnerable to dictators.
For the first time I understand the earlier generations of my family who chose to pass as white and shunned the family members whose skin was too dark. For the first time I comprehend the fear they must have lived in. For the first time I see that my tiny 6.2% African heritage and 3.5 Jewish heritage could be dangerous. For the first time I see that I have been complicit in my ignorance.
Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.
Jolene said on August 16, 2017 at 11:43 am
I’ve come to understand that the white supremacy movement is much deeper, much stronger, and much more well-armed than most of us had any clue.
It’s also disturbingly young. Check out this Catherine Rampell essay on the unfortunate reality that the racist right is not made up of people whose ideas were formed in what we like to think of as a long ago, less tolerant time, but of young people who feel that what should be their place in the social order is being usurped by minorities.
Judybusy said on August 16, 2017 at 11:55 am
Julie, good for you for taking time to learn about what’s been happening. Living in the environments we do, it’s easy to get lulled into thinking things had gotten so much better. But, all you need to do is be aware of employment, incarceration, education gaps to see racism is alive and well, and it’s not just for Nazis and white supremecists. Minneapolis, liberal star of the north, is one of the most segregated, unequal cities in the country. I was told about the Southern Poverty Law Cetner over 20 years ago, and they have been invaluable in tracking these groups. Still, I am really demoralized by Saturday. Not surprised, and not at all shocked by Trump’s response.
Also, the administration cut funding to a program that seeks to rehabilitate white supremecists.
Judybusy said on August 16, 2017 at 12:01 pm
Oh, it was cuts to many programs! Splendid.
Suzanne said on August 16, 2017 at 12:01 pm
Most of the ISIS fighters and terrorists are young people. There is such hopelessness among the young, I think because they see the ridiculous financial inequality.
I know my own children have told me numerous times that they do not anticipate ever being able to retire or ever owning a home or having the middle class things we take for granted. They are both college educated and both have jobs with benefits. The difference between them and these radicalized idiots is that they don’t blame minorities or Jews or any other groups or religions. They resign themselves to thinking that that is just how it is and struggle through.
Julie Robinson said on August 16, 2017 at 12:12 pm
I definitely see the link between ISIS fighters and the young fascists in this country. Most are undereducated and have little chance of economic prosperity. What have they got to lose?
Icarus said on August 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm
“I definitely see the link between ISIS fighters and the young fascists in this country. Most are undereducated and have little chance of economic prosperity. What have they got to lose?”
Not to mention less mature and experienced in life.
Scout said on August 16, 2017 at 1:04 pm
Nazi quote from the article Nancy linked: ” “I came to this march with the message that white European culture has a right to be here just like every other culture”
Where on earth did he get the impression that anyone said that it didn’t? Talk about a straw man.
Suzanne said on August 16, 2017 at 1:48 pm
Holy crap. VP My Pants is ending his overseas trip early & returning to Washington tomorrow and Trump has disbanded his Manufacturing Council and Strategy & his Policy Forum, supposedly because so many CEOs have resigned since yesterday.
Little Bird said on August 16, 2017 at 1:48 pm
This whole thing is kind of surreal to me. When I was young I was taught that racism is inherently bad. I grew up in a really racist city. I saw progress towards equality in many walks of life. I thought we as a people were getting better. I never expected to see that an American woman was murdered by a nazi on American soil. I never expected the threat of nuclear war to happen again. What the fuck is happening?
Peter said on August 16, 2017 at 2:15 pm
I can see Pence walking into the Oval Office now: “Mike, glad you’re here. I got rid of everybody – I fired all three million of those worthless shits- it’s just you and me from here on out taking them all on! We’re surrounded, but we’re going to break out and Make America Great Again (TM)”
Pence: “What do you mean we, white boy?”
Heather said on August 16, 2017 at 2:17 pm
I just saw this on FB, so I’m paraphrasing, but this was interesting: There is no white European culture. There is Irish culture, German culture, etc, but not a uniform one based on skin color. So why do black people get to be proud of being black? Because thanks to slavery, they don’t know where in Africa they are from. So they can’t be proud of being from what became Ghana or Kenya, etc.
alex said on August 16, 2017 at 2:22 pm
Pence just doubled down on Trump’s behalf. Fucking dickface ought to be impeached as well.
Heather said on August 16, 2017 at 2:23 pm
I too am gradually being awakened not only to the rise of a powerful new Nazi movement but also the ways that white supremacy is so systemic and entrenched in almost everything. I think I sort of understood that, but since it didn’t affect me, I never really had to face it. Recently I’ve been understanding better on a visceral level what non-white people live with, and it’s a gut punch. All white people need to actively work to dismantle white supremacy everywhere. From Ijeoma Olou, here are steps we all can take:
Julie Robinson said on August 16, 2017 at 2:40 pm
Heather, exactly. I come from a place of white privilege, and thought that my benevolent liberalism was sufficient. It is not.
brian stouder said on August 16, 2017 at 2:49 pm
Alex – maybe MyPants will get Agnewed
brian stouder said on August 16, 2017 at 2:50 pm
Sherri said on August 16, 2017 at 2:50 pm
Our schools have become more segregated, which probably has an impact on the rise of racism among the young. A 20 year old could also spend his entire adolescence in a Fox News inspired stew of resentment against Barack Obama. My recent college graduate daughter was in first grade on 9/11, so her generation has grown up hearing about terrorism. A political party has been using fear and resentment to gin up support their entire lives.
Peter said on August 16, 2017 at 3:04 pm
UPDATE to Suzanne #20: It now appears that the Policy Forum participants resigned en masse and dissolved the Council prior to Trump’s statement – now it looks like a “you can’t resign – I’m firing you” situation.
Sherri said on August 16, 2017 at 4:13 pm
White supremacists, trump, and Republicans.
Scout said on August 16, 2017 at 6:19 pm
What the coverage would look like if the American media treated the Charlottesville tragedy as they would an international story.
David C. said on August 16, 2017 at 6:20 pm
The last six years of the Obama Administration was spent living in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin. I never had any illusions of a post-racial society.
Sherri said on August 16, 2017 at 6:47 pm
Evidently, some people are hyperventilating that there’s a statue of Lenin in Seattle, and that should come down if the monuments to traitors come down. The Lenin statue was not put up to honor Lenin; somebody wanted to preserve the art, and bought the statue. It’s for sale, if anybody wants it, and there wouldn’t likely be a fight to keep it in Seattle.
Sherri said on August 16, 2017 at 7:05 pm
The (now former) president of the WSU College Republicans, who was scheduled to speak at the Charlottesville rally: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/aug/14/former-wsu-college-republican-president-radicalize/#/0
coozledad said on August 16, 2017 at 11:36 pm
Julie, you don’t owe me anything. And I don’t owe anyone. That’s the bargain.
Kim said on August 17, 2017 at 8:36 am
Cooz, so appropriate. The fact that it’s a 35-year-old song and just as relevant today as when Andy Patridge wrote it should give us all pause.
coozledad said on August 17, 2017 at 9:25 am
Kim: Back in Andy’s day the thugs were guys in Doc Martens lounging around village WWII monuments and chugging cider. Now they’re in control of the US, Britain, Russia, Greece, Turkey and The Philippines.
Andy’s book of revelations has the distinct advantage of proceeding from the specific to the general. Really good guitarist, too.
Julie Robinson said on August 17, 2017 at 10:16 am
Coozledad, I find confession and forgiveness cleansing and healing; a place to start moving forward in a new way.
So, another confession: I’d never heard that song before or heard of the band. I’ve never been dialed in to rock, and in 1981 my world was revolving around the new life I’d birthed the previous year. I wasn’t interested in much except expanding her world.
coozledad said on August 17, 2017 at 10:44 am
Julie: Here’s my confession. I used to believe Robert E. lee was an honorable man. It was a catechism in the south. I’m afraid they taught the same thing in US history textbooks everywhere.
But the reality should have been obvious. What kind of man does it take to fight to preserve the world’s first concentration camp?
My name is Wesley Norris; I was born a slave on the plantation of George Parke Custis; after the death of Mr. Custis, Gen. Lee, who had been made executor of the estate, assumed control of the slaves, in number about seventy; it was the general impression among the slaves of Mr. Custis that on his death they should be forever free; in fact this statement had been made to them by Mr. C. years before; at his death we were informed by Gen. Lee that by the conditions of the will we must remain slaves for five years; I remained with Gen. Lee for about seventeen months, when my sister Mary, a cousin of ours, and I determined to run away, which we did in the year 1859; we had already reached Westminster, in Maryland, on our way to the North, when we were apprehended and thrown into prison, and Gen. Lee notified of our arrest; we remained in prison fifteen days, when we were sent back to Arlington; we were immediately taken before Gen. Lee, who demanded the reason why we ran away; we frankly told him that we considered ourselves free; he then told us he would teach us a lesson we never would forget; he then ordered us to the barn, where, in his presence, we were tied firmly to posts by a Mr. Gwin, our overseer, who was ordered by Gen. Lee to strip us to the waist and give us fifty lashes each, excepting my sister, who received but twenty; we were accordingly stripped to the skin by the overseer, who, however, had sufficient humanity to decline whipping us; accordingly Dick Williams, a county constable, was called in, who gave us the number of lashes ordered; Gen. Lee, in the meantime, stood by, and frequently enjoined Williams to lay it on well, an injunction which he did not fail to heed; not satisfied with simply lacerating our naked flesh, Gen. Lee then ordered the overseer to thoroughly wash our backs with brine, which was done. After this my cousin and myself were sent to Hanover Court-House jail, my sister being sent to Richmond to an agent to be hired; we remained in jail about a week, when we were sent to Nelson county, where we were hired out by Gen. Lee’s agent to work on the Orange and Alexander railroad; we remained thus employed for about seven months, and were then sent to Alabama, and put to work on what is known as the Northeastern railroad; in January, 1863, we were sent to Richmond, from which place I finally made my escape through the rebel lines to freedom; I have nothing further to say; what I have stated is true in every particular, and I can at any time bring at least a dozen witnesses, both white and black, to substantiate my statements: I am at present employed by the Government; and am at work in the National Cemetary on Arlington Heights, where I can be found by those who desire further particulars; my sister referred to is at present employed by the French Minister at Washington, and will confirm my statement.
brian stouder said on August 17, 2017 at 11:23 am
Some years ago, the young folks and I were travelling to see Mickey Mouse in Florida, and they indulged my desire to stop at Andersonville National Historic Site in Georgia. Aside from the site of the prison camp, there is also a national museum of all American prisoners of war – which was very powerfully affecting, for all of us. Then, we rolled into the town of Andersonville – and in the town square there is a round-about, and in the center of that there is a towering memorial for the “misunderstood” (that word was carved into the granite) Henry Wirz. I couldn’t believe it! I walked around the thing, reading all the drivel they carved into the granite, and it seemed the most bizarre thing I’d ever seen…and then I noticed that your fine young son had wandered away – and I hesitated to call his name in that place (his name is Grant!) – which also made a big impression on me!
The sun was setting, as we gathered Grant up and got back into the minivan and rolled out of that place. And it occurred to me – what if my flesh was darker, or my eyes were shaped differently, or our family was different in some other way?
So the stop was educational, and remains educational – although not in the way it was intended
coozledad said on August 17, 2017 at 11:31 am
Julie Robinson said on August 17, 2017 at 11:51 am
It’s heart breaking to read these accounts, knowing that flogging could easily kill a person, though I suspect they stopped just short, not wanting to lose a valuable slave. I read another story about Lee’s cruelty to his slaves, along with the fact that he wasn’t even that good of a general, but was up against the incompetent George McClellan. The myth of Lee as a reluctant soldier is just another way the hateful past has been sanitized.
Deborah said on August 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm
Dahlia Lithwick on what really happened in Charlottesville http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/08/the_gop_might_rebuke_trump_s_hateful_words_but_it_continues_to_enable_his.html
Deborah said on August 17, 2017 at 1:35 pm
Let me try that again http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/08/the_gop_might_rebuke_trump_s_hateful_words_but_it_continues_to_enable_his.html
brian stouder said on August 17, 2017 at 1:53 pm
Today’s news in Barcelona would certainly have distressed ol’ Michael G.
susan said on August 17, 2017 at 2:20 pm
Pictorial history of the US prezidents
Bob (Not Greene) said on August 17, 2017 at 2:32 pm
Not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but it’s more along the lines of what Cooze posted at 40. In fact, it refers to that particular passage: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/the-myth-of-the-kindly-general-lee/529038
basset said on August 17, 2017 at 4:24 pm
Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen has announced that he’ll file articles of impeachment against the President… hey, it’s the thought that counts… and our Republican Senator Bob Corker is calling for “radical changes at the White House.”
Scout said on August 17, 2017 at 4:38 pm
Are you there, cooz?
Connie said on August 17, 2017 at 5:09 pm
That lineup in Durham is straight out of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.
Suzanne said on August 17, 2017 at 5:16 pm
Nice touch that VP My Pants said the US would help Spain track down the terrorists that mowed down people in Spain. About the terror attack in Charlottesville, mostly he just said, “yeah, I’m with stupid.”
coozledad said on August 17, 2017 at 5:45 pm
Scout: Wish I was, but sheesh it’s too hot to drive today. I will be prone and in front of a fan contemplating mortality for the next several hours, at least.
LAMary said on August 17, 2017 at 6:04 pm
If Trump and Pence get the boot we’ll have president Paul Ryan. This aggravates my GERD.
St Bitch said on August 17, 2017 at 9:49 pm
The Ron French story is moving, and dovetails with the other heartbreakers on this thread.
What surprises me, and yet doesn’t, is how unsustainable outrage is…because it keeps bursting out anew, as if we haven’t been gut-punched and bitch-slapped for over a year…especially those of us who have been gliding through most of our lives in bubbles of (white) entitlement. We may be sickened, fearful, or terrorized by what’s going on with this hostile takeover of the federal government, as it plunders and gnaws hungrily away at rights we’ve taken for granted (while undercover of a radar that’s jammed from the unrelenting blare of press-whipped alarms); but the threatened impact has yet to actually penetrate our rather sustainable if slowly eroding bubbles.
My current bubble, in my Iowa hometown on the Mississippi River, is substantial enough. I’ve spent most of my adult life outside of it, but have become aware, throughout the years, of how it’s always surrounded me. When my police sergeant brother-in-law would pick me up at the airport in Kingston, Jamaica, and drive me over the Blue Mountains to Buff Bay, he always had a loaded gun at the ready in the open glove compartment of his police jeep…or when I’d climb up over the ‘sausage-grind’ (a British-constructed rock embankment encased in a heavy-gauge wire net) to bathe in or dally by the Buff Bay River, my husband always sent his nephew to keep an eye out, unbeknownst to me or any would-be attackers. Although, my protective family indicated to me in dozens of ways on a daily basis that, as the only white person to be found for miles around, I was in constant danger…my bubble of privilege managed to keep me semi-oblivious. By the same token, even though I experienced hardship while living in the Third World, I always had a return ticket…so that it took on the flavor of camping out…an adventure…while for my husband and family, hunger, sickness and catastrophe were always just barely being held at bay.
I never did succeed in getting my husband to the US. After 15 years of trying and being thwarted by Immigration, I’d say my bubble got burst. And yet, 18 more years of widowhood finds my sense of entitlement still in tact…and my understanding of how to endure and resist injustice remains relatively naive.
I’d still rather share my bubble than relinquish it…
Sherri said on August 17, 2017 at 10:20 pm
I was talking with one of ACLU friends just this week about this struggle for the organization.
brian stouder said on August 18, 2017 at 8:29 am
St Bitch at 55 – the wonderful/terrible is (at least) very well communicated by you.
Deborah said on August 18, 2017 at 9:16 am
My husband pays attention to five thirty eight and he says Trumps approval ratings are creeping up. We have a huge problem in our country, bigger than any of us imagine, except maybe Coozledad.