Open Thread: A Mournful Valentine [UPDATE]

[NB: Check the byline. UPDATE at the bottom. /~Rayne]

A year ago today, fourteen students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida were killed by a lone 19-year-old gunman armed with an AR-15 rifle. More were injured.

Since then nearly 1,200 more children have died due to gun violence.

It’s an American problem, to have so much freedom and an inability to responsibly self-regulate it even though our Constitution clearly calls for a “well regulated Militia.”

The problem is as much money as it is guns. Money has been used to poison Americans’ attitudes toward guns; money has been used to capture legislators to prevent regulation.

The vulnerability of our society to corporate influence and control in pursuit of money has now created an opportunity for asymmetric warfare. Information assaults were launched last year by foreign-controlled bot swarms to propel pro-gun messages and suffocate gun control messages.

And the GOP-led 115th Congress did nothing in response because they were bought by NRA money, infused by Russia.

Oh, pardon me — members of Congress who received much of the $50 million in NRA campaign contributions in 2016 offered thoughts and prayers for the survivors and victims’ loved ones last year as the blood of innocents coagulated and dried on the floor of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Stuff your thoughts and prayers sideways, you useful idiots with your mouths flapping platitudes, you fifth columnists with your grasping hands out, greedy for more blood money for your next campaign. They are as helpful today as they were a year ago.

Don’t think for a moment we can’t see how you’ve obstructed the ability of Americans to defend themselves with adequate and timely gun control this past year. It’s past time to fix your disloyalty to this country and its children and pass effective gun control legislation beginning with the House bills H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019.

This is an open thread. Keep all gun talk in this thread; if it drifts into other threads I will bin it. If such a threat bothers you, have some thoughts and prayers.


UPDATE — 2:45 P.M. ET —

This is a list of the members of Congress SplinterNews listed as offering up thoughts and prayers via Twitter a year ago after MSD-Parkland’s mass shooting and who also received campaign contributions for 2016 from the NRA. I was looking patterns and I don’t see one readily except for political party affiliation. The lone Democratic Party member to receive funds and offer platitudes was Tim Walz, now governor of Minnesota instead of a House rep.

Do you see a pattern in this besides a preference toward Class II and III senators — up for re-election in 2018 and 2020? Are there committee memberships relevant to these donations?

Mitch McConnell (R-KY) – $9,900 -II <-Majority Leader
Marco Rubio (R-FL) – $9,900 -III
Rob Portman (R-OH) – $9,900 -III
Joni Ernst (R-IA) – $9,900 -II
Thom Tillis (R-NC) – $9,900 -II
Dean Heller (R-NV) – $9,900 -I
Jim Inhofe (R-OK) – $9,450 -II
John Hoeven (R-ND) – $8,450 -III
Steve Daines (R-MT) – $7,700 -II
Ron Johnson (R-WI) – $7,450 -III
John Boozman (R-AR) – $5,950 -III
Todd Young (R-IN) – $5,950 -III
Mike Rounds (R-SD) – $5,450 -II
James Lankford (R-OK) – $5,000 -III
Bill Cassidy (R-LA) – $4,950 -II
Richard Shelby (R-AL) – $4,950 -III
David Perdue (R-GA) – $4,950 -II
Tim Scott (R-SC) – $4,500 -III
Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) – $2,500 -II
Ted Cruz (R-TX) – $350 -I
John McCain (R-AZ) – $300 (RIP)

Barbara Comstock (R-VA) – $10,400
Mike Coffman (R-CO) – $9,900
Will Hurt (R-TX) – $9,900
John Katko (R-NY) – $9,900
Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) -$9,900
Lee Zeldin (R-NY) – $9,900
Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) – $7,450
Martha McSally (R-AZ) – $6,500 <-Running for McCain’s seat in 2020
Bill Schuster (R-PA) – $5,950
Richard Hudson (R-NC) – $4,950
Steve Scalise (R-LA) – $4,950
Lamar Smith (R-TX) – $4,950
Ken Calvert (R-CA) – $4,500
Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) – $4,000
Robert Aderholt (R-AL) – $3,500
Michael McCaul (R-TX) – $3,500
Darin LaHood (R-IL) – $3,000
Erik Paulson (R-MN) – $3,000
Tom Reed (R-NY) – $3,000
Diane Black (R-TN) – $2,500
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) – $2,500
Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) – $2,500
Rodney Davis (R-IL) $2,500
John Ratcliff (R-TX) – $2,500
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) – $2,500
Pete Sessions (R-TX) – $2,500
Roger Williams (R-TX) – $2,500
Mike Bishop (R-MI) – $2,000
Bradley Byrne (R-AL) – $2,000
Buddy Carter (R-GA) – $2,000
Chris Collins (R-NY) – $2,000
Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL) – $2,000
Sean Duffy (R-WI) – $2,000
Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) – $2,000
Tim Walz (D-MN) – $2,000 <-Now MN governor
Bob Gibbs (R-OH) – $2,000
Paul Gossar (R-AZ) – $2,000
Sam Graves (R-MO) – $2,000
Glenn Grothman (R-WI) $2,000
Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) – $2,000
Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) – $2,000
French Hill (R-AR) – $2,000
Bill Huizenga (R-MI) – $2,000
Darrell Issa (R-CA) – $2,000
Bill Johnson (R-OH) – $2,000
Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) – $2,000
Doug Lamborn (R-CO) – $2,000
Luke Messer (R-IN) – $2,000
Kristi Noem (R-SD) – $2,000
Scott Perry (R-PA) – $2,000
Robert Pittenger (R-NC) – $2,000
Ted Poe (R-TX) – $2,000
Tom Rice (R-SC) – $2,000
Martha Roby (R-AL) – $2,000
Mike Rogers (R-AL) – $2,000
Todd Rokita (R-IN) – $2,000
Peter Roskam (R-IL) – $2,000
Dennis Ross (R-FL) – $2,000
Austin Scott (R-GA) – $2,000
Jason Smith (R-MO) – $2,000
Elise Stefanik (R-NY) – $2,000
Steve Stivers (R-OH) – $2,000
Mark Walker (R-NC) – $2,000
Jackie Walorski (R-IN) – $2,000
Mimi Walters (R-CA) – $2,000
Joe Wilson (R-SC) – $2,000
Rob Wittman (R-VA) – $2,000
Steven Palazzo (R-MS) – $1,750
Mike Kelly (R-PA) – $1,500
Steve Womack (R-AR) – $1,500
Ralph Abraham (R-LA) – $1,000
Lou Barlettea (R-PA) – $1,000
Susan Brooks (R-IN) – $1,000
Warren Davidson (R-OH) – $1,000
Ron DeSantis (R-FL) – $1,000
Louie Gohmert (R-TX) – $1,000
Kenny Marchant (R-TX) – $1,000
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) – $1,000
David McKinley (R-WV) – $1,000
Dave Reichert (R-WA) – $1,000
Tom Rooney (R-FL) – $1,000
Randy Weber (R-TX) – $1,000
Daniel Webster (R-FL) – $1,000

119 replies
  1. Pete says:

    Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School is less that 2 miles from my home. The community “mood” is very subdued this week – this month actually.

    My wife is a retired teacher and knows several teachers who were not only in the school, but who teach at near-by schools some of which had kids at MSD at the time. A few of the nearby schools were rallying points post massacre and at least one high school student – not shot – made it to an elementary school splattered with blood.

    The mood is fearful today and many parents are not sending their kids to any local school.

    I can recall the feelings I had during Columbine, Sandy Hook, etc as “remote” yet terrible events. But when it happens in your immediate community the feeling is much worse. This should never happen in/to anyone’s family – I simply cannot imagine.

    The “politics” is hot and heavy – some warranted and helpful – most not (I am talking to you Rep Matt Gaetz (R FL-01).

    It is my hope that the NRA gets nuked as a byproduct of the Mueller probe as a laundering conduit – and that some other “gun rights” extreme group cannot take their place.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for sharing your perspective. Last night while drafting this I’d re-read your comment from last year about the shooting, wondering how the community was handling post-trauma recovery and continuing grief.

      Gaetz is a know-nothing chumbucket who needs to be removed from that seat. FL-01 voters need to be hammered for in re-electing a jerk who is undermining the federal protections they need — even after Hurricane Michael in October last year.

    • Democritus says:

      Thank you for sharing how your community is doing, and I hope tomorrow is a slightly easier day.  Your community and school system have raised a hell of an amazing group of engaged, bright, and far to old for their age young men and women. Who after all they have been through are still able to provide hope to the people who are tasked with taking care of them, organize a movement all while still processing grief and trauma on an national scale. I’m still struggling with grief for a family member who died years ago, and yet look at these young adults.

      Im just so sorry or what everyone has been through down there. It still doesn’t feel like a year, and also feels like a lifetime ago.

    • Ruthie says:

      I lived in CT when Sandy Hook happened, and even though I lived probably 40 miles away, it still felt different than any other school shooting. I knew people who had grown up in the area, who themselves knew families who had lost a child. The depth of rage I feel when I hear people talk about crisis actors is inexpressible. I can only imagine how much deeper it must be for those who’ve experienced it even more close to home.

  2. Cathy says:

    I applaud the survivors of Parkland because I have no words. Grieving is some of the most difficult work we as human beings undertake.

    • alaura says:

      CSpan ran her interaction as well, she is amazing.  Her naming AIPAC as an owner of many of our Congress people was timely.  If anyone wants to see this undercover op on AIPAC, The Lobby, which “whoever” is trying to censure…all four parts are here on The Electronic Intifada youtube site.  I find it particularly appalling how they target students and teachers.

  3. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne for the open thread.

    Courageous Parkland students teaching and speaking their truth. Excellent!

    “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” Angela Schwindt

  4. CitizenCrone says:

    Decades ago I was in the ER when an ambulance brought in a boy who had been accidentally shot.  I’ll never forget his white white face, and his mother who sat among us pleading for prayer–please, he’s only 11 years old.  He was dead within minutes.

    Not many years later I received a phone call:  my 14-year-old son had been shot, accidentally.  He lived.  He’s paraplegic, and his life has been one of pain, depression, lost potential.

    Neither tragedy was tracked by the CDC because of the influence of the NRA and the importance of money in our political campaigns.

    Our brief emotional collective shock, like our thoughts and prayers, has been ineffective.  Give me stats and meaningful studies, give me policy and program ideas, give me congresspeople free from the demands and constraints of wealthy and corporate donors, and maybe rationality can produce what emotion has not.

    Rights?  I heard someone argue that she has a right to not vaccinate her child–it’s all about her child.  But where her right intersects with the rights of another to be protected from harm, some sort of accommodation must be made.  We are not a bunch of individuals with absolute rights.  We are an attempt at community, an incredibly diverse community with a common belief in the value and equality of our fellow beings.  We can’t NOT try to stop the maiming and slaughter of our children.

    • Rayne says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience. Gun violence has so many victims who survive from whom we don’t hear enough — the wounded, families and friends, communities as we see in Parkland. I’m glad you came and commented here.

      One of the intersections between guns and vaccines is that they are being used as wedge issues in mis- and dis-information campaigns. In truth, it’s information warfare with physical casualties. I wish I had an answer to effective deterrence.

      • CitizenCrone says:

        I’m afraid that the answer we need is far too radical to ever be addressed by our current politics.  And by radical I mean that which addresses the root of the issue.

        We will just have to nibble around the edges until we evolve into a more courageous and/or compassionate people.

  5. Jenny says:

    President Obama tweeted today:

    In the year since their friends were killed, the students of Parkland refused to settle for the way things are and marched, organized, and pushed for the way things should be – helping pass meaningful new gun violence laws in states across the country. I’m proud of all of them.

  6. Vinnie Gambone says:

    Sorry, I will not abandon my hopes, prayers thoughts actions for all the victim’s families. I am not a gun nut or own one or care to. But let’s never fail to pray for those who are suffering. My bucket list includes sitting in the church at Charleston so that I may add my tears to that ocean. And that is on my way to the peace and justice Museum in Alabama.  Let’s not turn cold.  Victims need to know we care,  and we are outraged for them.

    • P J Evans says:

      Do more than just send thoughts and prayers – vote out the NRA-owned legislators, at all levels, and work toward getting a society that isn’t armed to its hairline.

      • Cathy says:

        Yes! Keep pushing! Eventually we’ll reach that inflection point. We can’t afford to wait until we think we see it coming…

    • Rayne says:

      James 2:14-17

      14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
      15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
      16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
      17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

      You knock yourself out in your pew. I’m done praying. Works are clearly needed instead.

      • roberts robot double says:

        Prayer is for the help to personally overcome our ego’s tendencies to selfishness so that we may actively work harder to help others. Prayer is dipping one’s cup in spirit water in order that we may be strengthened to serve.

        Yes, most people’s prayers are only for things of this world — such as their meaningless feels that they prayed for someone — and their heartless hypocrisy means they do nothing to help others in the real world that aren’t their own kinfolk.

        The worst lies we tell are those we tell ourselves and the fake religious people of this world lie to themselves that they really give a f about anyone but their own kind, however they define it.

        I’ll take a non-believer who sacrifices their energy (time, resources, whatever) for others over the vast sea of “believers” whose concern for others ends outside the walls of their congregation. They sit self-satisfied in the misbelief that they are better than others because of the feeble and false mental frameworks they and their packs have constructed out of thin air.

        Without humility and service, no person is on the Path of Love.

        We must all be careful of the ideals we set for ourselves and prayer is the means to gain the strength to attain them in this life. That ideals are thin on the ground in 2019 is obvious to all with eyes that see, ears that hear and hearts that understand, and why I am here, my dear friends of the heart.

        Thank you for your service to humanity. This love can not be stopped.

      • Jockobadger says:

        Right on, Rayne.  Right on.

        Sorry. Long past aging hippy. My boys still hassle me about saying that.  Tough tiddlywinks.

  7. Hops says:

    This news just in on ThinkProgress and other places: Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis has ruled that Jones must undergo a sworn deposition.

    Alex Jones of Infowars promoted the conspiracy theory that Sandy Hook parents were actors. What a jerk.

    • roberts robot double says:

      What a jerk.

      That is not inaccurate, my friend. He is a cruel, heartless, self-promoting liar.

      A person either embraces and extolls the truth or they are the enemy of humanity.

      A person either embraces and embodies compassion for ALL[*1] or they are devoid of humanity.

      A person who makes their money propagating lies and callous inhumanity has sold their soul for a small price and are among the leaders of the inhumane. By their active subversion of humanity they are counted as the worst of the worst.

      There are two ideals that will save humanity: the love of truth and the truth of love.

      Peace be with you all.

      [*1]: Note that people who deliberately harm others *must* be treated with less compassion than the innocent persons they oppress out of justice and compassion for the greater good of the society. But we must *never* hate them and must ever seek to convert them to the path of love, but that doesn’t mean they get to skate on their crimes.

  8. Anne says:

    Is it possible to define “civilian” weapons and “military” weapons?

    I was born in Alaska, so I know why people in certain places have hunting weapons:  go look at the elementary school in Juneau, Alaska with its 4-meter high chain link fence to keep the bears out, and the armored garbage cans all over Alaskan towns for the same reason.

    When the second Amendment was written, the weapon you needed for deer hunting or bear protection was the same weapon you carried into the Revolutionary War or the various Indian wars.  Maybe even the Civil War.  Hand-carried weapons that could kill a dozen people in 30 seconds hadn’t been invented yet.  So this is another example of technology outrunning the law.

    When journalists speak of “military-style” weapons, not only do they not know what they are talking about, but no such definition exists in any laws.  Why can’t we have such a definition?  Then the NRA people could have any “civilian” weapons they want but AR-15s, no.

    • Tom says:

      Years ago I worked in a rural area where the local school would occasionally have to cancel recess because a bear had been sighted on the playground. I also knew farmers who kept an old “critter gun” handy in the barn for when coyotes came snooping around their sheep herd or henhouse.

      Another thing to remember is that at the time the Second Amendment was written the standard firearm was a smoothbore flintlock musket or pistol. These weapons were inaccurate with a high rate of misfire and limited range. Even a skilled shooter could get off at best only two or three shots a minute. There were also rifled muskets (e.g., the Kentucky Rifle) which were more accurate with a longer range but were slower to load. By comparison an AR-15 would have seemed like some kind of wonder weapon to the old frontiersmen.

      The Founding Fathers didn’t entirely trust the Common Man, which I think is one of the reasons Americans elect their President by the Electoral College instead of the popular vote. So I’m pretty sure that Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams (John not Sam), and their colleagues would be totally aghast at the amount of destructive firepower the average Joe Citizen is permitted to wield these days. The Second Amendment also states that the right to bear arms is necessary for a well regulated militia. The Founding Fathers were generally suspicious of standing armies of the type that George III and his ministers used to try and suppress the rebellion in the Thirteen Colonies, and so preferred the idea of a militia-based citizen army that could be mustered in times of emergency and disbanded afterwards. Hence the need for citizens to possess and be familiar with the use of firearms. At least, that’s my understanding of the original intent of the Second Amendment.

      Apart from Americans being armed to fight Redcoats and Indians, I think slavery provided another rationale for having an armed populace. During the Revolution, Washington was every bit as worried about having enough armed men as a home guard to put down any incipient slave revolts as he was about finding sufficient recruits to fill the ranks of the Continental Army. Armed slave patrols would continue to be a feature of life in the South up until the end of the Civil War, after which the KKK carried on a similar role.

      The frontier towns of the Old West had a good handle on gun control laws, with local ordinances banning the carrying of concealed weapons and even laws stating, “No guns within city limits”. See the article “Did the Wild West Have More Gun Control Than We Do Today?” in the Huffington Post for September 9, 2011.

  9. Rapier says:

    Small arms were among the very first things that were adopted to mass production. With every part replaceable with a new one off the shelf. The arms industry in terms of industrialization which has produced this modern world where an unimaginable 8 billion people live while the lowest percentage in history live in absolute poverty, has a let’s say proud tradition. A tradition of people using their minds and skill and hands on work to get things made and done.

    90% of the visitors here would probably fall into depression if they had to work in a factory. Just saying.

    The small arms industry must be shrunk. It will be. It’s over for it. Everyone who wants a gun has one and all they are left with is selling 2 or 20 more to people who have them. The gun fetish explosion was produced by a public relations campaign lead by the manufactures who made millions of guns and, ridiculously, millions of arm chair constitutional scholars.

    Still, harbor a bit of sympathy for the people who work or soon to be used to work in the factories. Who by chance of fate spent their lives making the wrong thing. Coincidently, or not, in CT where the small arms industry started and lived there was also a large machine tool industry. That died long ago. Post WWII modern corporations and their cost accountants figured investment in new things didn’t pay.

    Hail the Bridgeport mill.

    • P J Evans says:

      My first few jobs were doing electronics assembly. By hand – it’s not unskilled labor, and even with machines that could do a lot of the work, the prototyping pieces are still hand-done (the circuit boards, those are machine-made). It isn’t nearly as bad as, say, poultry or meat processing lines.

      Even now, “interchangeable parts” is the goal, not the reality: no two computers are identical, and I’ve heard too many stories of replacement parts on mechanical stuff having to be jiggered to fit properly.

    • Tom says:

      I don’t think it’s the amount of money (and I agree it wouldn’t hurt any of them financially to turn down a few thousand dollars from the NRA).   I’m guessing that the candidates’ real concern is the amount of abuse and invective the NRA would unleash upon them if they turned down their donation.    The paltry sums involved make the candidates’ acceptance of the NRA money all the more degrading and humiliating for them.   Hard to imagine anyone wanting political office that badly.

    • Cathy says:

      It’s even more pernicious than the amounts posted above. The source @Rayne names downthread indicates that contributions from the “gun rights” interest grouping can be substantially more than those from the NRA itself.

      Example:  The most expensive House race in Texas took place this past midterm and Republican Wm. Hurd won it by 926 votes despite his opponent outspending him $6.0 million to $5.0 million (per Houston Chronicle).

      He brought in $38,350 from “gun rights” groups, including $4,950 from the NRA (per OpenSource here & here, respectively).

      In 2016 his take was $35,850 from the “gun rights” groups, including the $9,900 from the NRA that @Rayne cites in the [UPDATE] above (per OpenSource here & here, respectively).

      I don’t have the data to describe the impact of an NRA contribution, but as a lobbying group their money, and their publicized ratings of lawmakers, have definitely acted as force-multipliers for a candidate’s war chest.

      Oh, and Hurd is the “bipartisan” guy (#CongressionalCannonballRun, noted in Time).

      [Apologies in advance to moderators for the immoderate links]

      • Rayne says:

        The public needs to strategize on how to deal with electeds who have been compromised by NRA+gun group money. Electeds can’t run against guns but they don’t have enough cover to run from gun lobby and its Russian money.

        It may come down to asking them to simply come out and do a mea culpa focused on the Russian money, but I wonder if some of them are worried about defenestration once they do.

        • Cathy says:

          Yeah…I’d say that recent press about the NRA’s vulnerability is welcome, but I’m not sure how much of that reporting misses the inevitable political cycle: money and membership vary in direct proportion to gun owners’ fear of gun control legislation. Thus membership is up under Democrat administrations / congressional control and down under Republican control.

          If the NRA implodes due to liquidity issues brought on by a Russian contagion, the lobbyists will find new homes; the euphoria from DC v Heller hasn’t worn off yet. Waiting for it to subside…Waiting for the Gun Control wave to build…Resigned to it being a generational cycle. Like everything else it will start at the grass roots and show up first in municipal, county, state rules and legislation…unevenly across the land.

          And although I hold out hope that the Naming & Shaming will sour the Russian money on Gun Rights, I dread finding out what other wedge issue they’ll decide is ripe for exploitation.

    • Cathy says:

      Yet all is not lost (even in Texas).

      Two Republican House Reps from suburban districts lost to Democrats this cycle, despite the $9,900 gestures from the NRA.

      Pete Sessions is mentioned above and, although he didn’t make the Rogues Gallery, John Culberson threatened to defund the DoJ from his perch on the Appropriations Committee in the tussle over Obama’s Jan. 2016 executive actions on gun control.

  10. Cathy says:

    Thank you, Rayne – at a loss for my own, I’ll gladly use yours:

    In truth it’s information warfare with physical casualties.

    And Mr. Walker’s:

    Members of an ideological group share specific knowledge as a given. Inside the group, this knowledge is not perceived as ideological, rather as a fair picture of social or physical reality, and it’s uncontroversial.

    Inherently complex issues lend themselves especially to that information warfare (allowing for cherry-picked collections of facts).  It seems to be increasingly a type of bunker warfare, in which the disinformation serves less as weapon than as barricade, defending from objective evaluation the group’s sense that their shared knowledge is a fair picture of reality.

    Even emotion released in the aftermath of a tragedy can be shunted onto a path that does not interfere with the income streams fed by the culture that permits the tragedy…

    Stunning how in the aftermath of Parkland and Santa Fe the Trump Administration used the bully pulpit to promote school marshal programs: address heart wrenching collateral damage from gun culture by promoting gun use.

    But in truth, to fearful parents who feel they can’t afford to wait for the demise of the NRA, the idea of exerting additional overt local control is seductive. Until something goes wrong…

    [National Associated of School Resource Officers] Executive Director Mo Canady, a former school resource officer in Alabama, said he believes accidental discharges and other mistakes involving school officers’ guns are “much more rare than people might think.”

    “When you’ve got 20,000 officers in schools across the country, things can happen. There’s no perfect situation,” he said.

    So difficult to know how best to protect your kids when you know “things can happen.”

    We hope that our short-term fixes keep them safe until they can implement long term solutions. We think they’ve got a shot at overcoming the disinformation bunkers…they’re inoculated against the lies by their own PTSD.

    (Hugs @KimsMom3)

    • Democritus says:

      Great comment, and Kim’s mom led me to this tweet and video that brought me back here.

      Powerful message.  What the hell is wrong with us? God, I got in touch with an old friend a while back, and they are an anti-Vaxxer, it’s ridiculous. He was all, oh no really I did my own research 🙄

      So there is someone whose kids I will never meet, unless I stop treatment for my autoimmune disorder, which ha!  Not likely.

      ETA, If Montana is joining Canada I am SOOOOo moving there.

      • Cathy says:

        …an anti-Vaxxer…was all, oh no really I did my own research

        Exactement! There’s plenty to choose from – with how many layers of sourcing parents would need to penetrate to uncover the true cost to their own kids? Over what time horizon? It’s a maddening morass. Without the immediate feedback of illness, how to determine their chosen body of “knowledge” is a distorted reflection of physical reality? It’s a hotbed of bonkers.

        • Rayne says:

          There’s really only one report they needed — though this isn’t the best one, this is close:
          Measles Cases in the U.S. (1912-2001)

          The best report is measles death rates over time and I’m not even going to bother looking. One can see them visiting a community cemetery, all the youngsters who died before our parents’ were born.

          What the anti-vaxxers ignore is the uptick in autism in no way coincides with the use of vaccines.

          • Eureka says:

            What blows my mind on this are all of the social changes dovetailing to make the unsafe nuttery possible.  Years ago I had to get another MMR or I “couldn’t attend” college because my MMR had been given three days before my first bday.  So a three-day technicality, but naturally I was immediately hauled off to get another shot.

            Institutions like schools, colleges, certain workplaces, and their rules are some of the biggest gatekeepers we really have on vaccination rates.  But with the collapse of authority and spread of “religious” (etc.) exemptions, more loopholes on public health and sense abound.

            We are coming to a place as well where any personal belief, however founded, gets sunk into the idea of “religion.”  Very dangerous to the republic.

            • Rayne says:

              Adults forget to check their immunization records, too. I think the recent findings about some late-life neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s having strong links to HSV-1, VZV, and other viruses are good reasons for continuing vaccinations well past middle age (there isn’t one commercialized yet for HSV-1 but I hope there will be within 5-10 years). I’ll bet some of these anti-vaxxers will think twice when it’s their own brains and family fortunes at risk.

              • Eureka says:

                One can hope, but this might be a case of moar vaccines for the rest of us.  It strikes me that this particular antivaxxer cohort might just revisit their beliefs on their un- or belatedly-vaxxed surviving kids by virtue of their kids having to take on the eldercare duties.  Of course we all have or will have those duties- I mean here the irony of those potentially avoidable by scientific innovations.

                Adding: But the more that peel off that bandwagon or who can be dragged into the future, the better.

          • Cathy says:

            Thank you @Rayne!  

            Was not my intent to leave the impression that the basis for vaccination policy is murky…rather that the “researchers” find themselves in a morass of disinformation and can’t seem to pull themselves out. ;-)

            And re-emphasizing: @Eureka – “But the more that peel off that bandwagon or who can be dragged into the future, the better.”

  11. iamNOTindividual1 says:

    It’s more than just the NRA or big pharma contributing to a candidate’s campaign. I think we need to see an exposé on how politicians use their positions in government to get wealthy/wealthier.  Something like Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. God damn the greed and the hypocrisy. What happened to altruism??

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    If, as reported by Trump’s physician, the 6’2″ Donald Trump weights 243 pounds, four pounds more than reported last year, I’ll eat my hat.  Perhaps the doc should have made Trump step on the scale with both feet, or not taken Trump’s word that that’s what he weighed.

    At least the Don is consistent: he lies about everything and gets a lot of other people to do the same.  His power or charisma to elicit that behavior escapes me completely.

    • P J Evans says:

      If that report was even written by a doctor who saw the exam results, rather than one who signed off on Tr*mp’s desired results (like last year’s report).

      Tr*mp is maybe 5ft11: he’s shorter than both Obama and Newsom, both of whom are 6ft3 or 6ft4.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump has long been regarded as 6’2″.  The claim that he was an inch taller is one of the whoppers from last year’s physical, because at that height it put him just outside the obesity category for his claimed weight last year, which looked thirty pounds light.  He’s gained weight since.

      But as you say, it came out during last year’s physical that WH doctors sometimes allow their VIP patient to self-report some of his vital statistics, which doesn’t give anyone much confidence in the accuracy of information reported about the president.  Given the importance and stress of the job, one would think Congress might step in and regularize the requirements for an at least annual physical and the reporting of information about it.  One would think cognitive testing would be mandatory, too.

      • P J Evans says:

        He also wears shoes that add 1.5 or 1.75 inches to his actual height – and he’s still well under 6ft3, even with that help. He isn’t honest about his own body – why should anyone expect him to be honest about stuff that’s much easier to check?

          • e.a.f. says:

            omg, I’m so glad he is our P.M.  he is tall and he can do yoga. don’t even belong to the Liberal party which he represents)    What I like about Canadian P.M.s is that they wade in to crowds, well except the last one, Harper.   Perhaps its because there are fewer guns out there, perhaps they have a better connection to those who elected them.

            Trudeau has been out and about doing town hall meetings in Canada and he handles all the questions, very well.  he has an excellent command of the English and French languages.  His wife is a yoga instructor and at one press dinner, instructed her husband on the “correct” method of doing one of the poses, yes there she was on one hand, in an evening dress, doing a one handed stand, parallel to the ground.  The press dinner loved it as did the rest of us, who saw it on t.v.  I guess part of it is some of our politicians don’t take themselves that seriously.

            • Tom says:

              Hey, e.a.f.! Speaking tongue-in-cheek as a fellow Canadian, maybe you could try to be a little more modest and self deprecating as befits our stereotyped national character.  Have you forgotten that our P.M. has his no doubt well-toned ass in a crack over that SNC-Lavalin business?   Also, have you heard about the online petition requesting that the U.S. government reduce their national debt by selling the state of Montana to us?  It’s a better idea than Trump trying to sell Alaska back to the Russians, which–who knows?–may be the real secret at the heart of the Mueller investigation.

                • Eureka says:

                  Tom & Rayne- I actually do have concerns that they’re going to (further) misuse the science on the peopling of the Americas/First Americans towards some RU-claim to (backspacing over shit I don’t want to put out there)|.  Anyway, I’m sure the white supremacist/RU shared-brethren crowd* already have some fantastical ‘theories’ worked up somewhere out there.

                  *there was a great twtter thread with a long batch of comments from a solar installer on the upper west coast about enclaves of prepper-gun nut-supremacist-Trumper-Ru-types.  Enlightening.

                  Adding:  Oh!  I found it.  The guy’s name used to be on the account along with the business name, i.e. seemed a legit business.

                  • Tom says:

                    Read the twitter thread and found it pretty unsettling.   Hard to believe that white supremacists see the Russians as allies considering the Nazis thought of the Slavic people as being untermensch–subhuman.

                    • e.a.f. says:

                      some of these “white superists” aren’t that bright and aren’t up on their history, when it comes to Hitler and Nazis.  Of course if you’re desperate for leaders or other to join, you go with what you can find.   Putin looks like a strong leader to many of these “superists”.

                      Putin has been clever with is own form of racism.   He has worked to place the Russians, the “pure” Russians at the top of the heap and a couple of decades ago there was some movements in Moscow to remove people who weren’t “pure Russian” from the city.   The Russians themselves, see Slavic people as apart and not as “good” as Russians.   Some Russians don’t see themselves as Slavic but rather as Europeans.  Looking at Putin, to me he looks Slavic,  as does Butina.  However, some Russians I know look far more European.   Some times it just depends upon where people are from within Russia.

                      Canada has its own special group of racists.  Much of it is aimed at First Nations people but any people of colour will be added to those who are not wanted.   We’re seeing some it surface once again, with the “yellow vest” crowd, just another name for cowards, in my opinion, but they’ve been jacked up by people who have their own agendas

              • e.a.f. says:

                Tom, The qualities you suggest I display, not possible.  I live on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and …………you know the best and most corrupt province in Canada

                Yes, the man has a great body.  However, his ass won’t be in a sling for long, in my opinion.  Expect Butts to take the fall and Justin will go into the next election with his “well toned ass” and win or perhaps we’ll have Elizabeth May as P.M. everyone being tired of it all.

                Saw the petition and checked out a Montana newspaper where people had a lot of questions from did they have to learn to speak French to could they get health care immediately to did they have to give up the guns.  Took the opportunity to explain some of our Canadian “rules of the game”.

                We simply can not pay a trillion for Montana. Taxpayers won’t stand for it.  We have to pay for our health care.    I suggested we might consider what we paid for the pipeline, approx. $4B give or take.   They may want to seek refugee status and/or immigrate however, it would be easiest to simply vote into office politicians who are more in line with the needs of the citizens.  Really, how many Americans could we have in our country before they tried to change it beginning with gun laws.   We took in 100K Vietnamese refugees, back in the day, 40K Syrians in recent years, but that number of Americans in one go, don’t know.  Its not that they’re not nice people, but they do have some strange ideas, so I’ll pass on buying Montana and we can take in another 40K Syrians or for that matter 80K.   Oh, wait Canada ought to have a look at all the Daca kids who Trump wants out or some of his supporters want out.   The majority have university educations and we do have  a teacher and teacher’s aid shortage in B.C. and we need medical staff, the RCMP is looking for recruits, so I vote we take the Daca kids.

                  • Tom says:

                    @e.a.f. You’re right about the white supremacists’ lack of historical knowledge.  They’re not even well-informed ignoramuses!   As for Russia, I recall from my long ago university courses that the question of whether Russians are essentially European or Asian has been one of the central themes of Russian history. And we’ve had our own problems with the KKK, Holocaust deniers teaching in our schools, and ongoing anti-aboriginal prejudices over the years.

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump is flailing badly.

    His purported declaration of emergency is a lie.  The courts will probably make that clear, but since Trump will waste millions appealing to federal circuit court and the Supremes, that could take a long time.

    Trump knows that and doesn’t care.  He is distracting from his crimes, from is inability to govern, from his inability even to manage his daily schedule or to do more work in a week than an Amazon warehouse worker does before his one and only daily break.

    • e.a.f. says:

      now that’s an idea, have Trump work in a ware house for a week to get the feel of how it is to work and live in the U.S.A.   Perhaps it might change his opinion of the average citizen.   Most politicians forget how the voters live and don’t care either.   These politicians in the U.S.A. go around with squads of armed people to protect them.  What does that say about the politicians and the citizens.  Scares the shxt out of me.

        • P J Evans says:

          His inability to walk, or to manage steps, is why I think he has type-2 diabetes with neuropathy. It’s a medical condition that can cause serious damage, if you don’t catch it early, and it’s hard to catch it early if you’re telling yourself (and everyone else) how healthy you are, while eating a high-carb diet, not exercising much, and being very much overweight. (He may also have kidney disease – it’s a likely complication. If so, his lifespan is going to be a lot shorter than he thinks.)

          • Rayne says:

            I don’t know; I lean towards managed Parkinson’s given his increasingly stooped posture, shuffling gate, difficulty navigating steps. Could be co-morbid, just not clear what is primary and how many issues he has.

            • P J Evans says:

              Oh, I bet he has lots of medical issues – if he was as healthy as he claims, he wouldn’t be afraid to release that medical report summary. (I don’t think the statin, in itself, means he has problems other than high serum lipids – I’ve been on one for two years, and the only thing wrong was that it was walking-dead level: no blockages. The statin has done wonders for my oily skin, though.)

            • e.a.f. says:

              Trump could well have Parkinson.   People who have it frequently mention “Parkinson’s Brain” and it may account for some of Trump’s disjointed speeches.  He like some with Parkinsons loose their train of thought mid speech.   it may also be why he has so much “executive time”.    Some with Parkinsons use rest as a method of controlling the symptoms.

              Of course the shuffling walk could just be his legs and feet can’t carry the weight.

          • e.a.f. says:

            shorter life span?  you promise?  Don’t believe in murder, but dying in one’s sleep of a heart attack because of poor diet, etc.  its O.K.

  14. e.a.f. says:

    As I read the list you supplied, politicians who accepted NRA funding, my thoughts were, how cheaply these politicians sold out.    The lives of the children of America were sold so cheaply, some for as little as a thousand dollars, none more than $9,500.   My god what is wrong with these people, that they place such little value on the lives on their country’s children.   Perhaps the next time a billionaire wants to do something they can go around to these politicians and make them another offer, $10K if you switch sides.  It makes you wonder how many would switch sides.

    What is always such a surprise to me, is that in a country which has so little government health care to cover the cost of shooting injuries, they have so many shootings and so few laws to prevent it all.  Even if it came down to dollars, it would be more cost effective to have gun control.  Even if those politicians didn’t care about the children, they might care about the money.  However, from what I’ve seen, they don’t even care what gun violence costs the government and the GDP of the country.

    Being Canadian I have a different view on guns and the laws which govern them.  However, when ever I’ve read the American constitution it refers to guns, as this article outlines, to a well regulated militia.  With the current Supreme Court being what it is, it is doubtful a court challenge would work, but I do wonder, has one ever been mounted and how far did it get?

    Following the Sandy Hook shooting of 20 children, it was difficult to comprehend.     Then they had the Parkland shooting.   It is beyond my comprehension that this continues to happen in a “civilized” country.  Even in war zones around the world, this type of killing wouldn’t be the norm.  Yet, in the U.S.A. mass school shootings have become the norm.  A country which murders its young can not survive in the long term.  It is indicative of an illness which isn’t covered in the “shrink” bible of diagnosis.

    I truly am sorry the children of American have to live in these types of conditions.  My condolences to the parents of all children who have been shoot.  If any of those politicians who remember its Valentines Day and its supposed to be about love, for the love of all the children in America, please change your gun laws.  It might be your child or grandchild who is killed next.

    • punaise says:

      Well said. Our daughter is married to a Canadian bloke (PEI), and I wouldn’t blame if they ended up living north of the border for this and other “civilized country” reasons.

  15. punaise says:

    Late to the party and have not reads the comments yet.

    This is over-simplistic and perhaps omits other “worthy” examples, but I’ve been thinking that the three great historical stains on our national psyche, our domestic original sins if you will,  are:

    1. Genocide of the indigenous population and appropriation of their lands

    2. Slavery and the residual stink of racism

    3. The cumulative horror of unfettered gun violence – I mean WTF, what other society allows this?

    This doesn’t take into account our global hegemony shenanigans on the world stage, of course. Feel free to add to the list, for example: chronic income inequality, lack of basic health care for all…

    • Tom says:

      But there are things to place on the other side of the balance scale: (1) Helping end the Great War and the threat posed by the Kaiser’s militarism.  (2) America’s role in defeating the Nazis and Japanese militarism in WWII.  (3)  The Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after the war and turn Germany and Japan into western allies.   (4)  The vital role the U.S. has played in NATO over the past decades.   And those are just the first things that come to mind …

  16. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Interesting argument over whether the Kaiser’s militarism posed a greater threat to European and global stability than Austro-Hungarian, French, British or American militarism. It led to the peculiar way in which Czarist Russia met its end and what followed.

    Defeating the Axis in WWII was a general but not unalloyed good. It led to the bomb, bomb-based foreign policy, Red Scares, the security and military-industrial complex, and putting the US on a permanent war footing with bases around the world. US economic imperialism in East Asia replaced Japanese and a mixed European imperialism. Allies’ anti-semitic policies led to a lot of needless deaths. They have been replaced in the US by unquestioning support for hard-right Israeli policies, which allow US citizens less room to criticize them than those enjoyed by Israeli citizens. The Palestinians remain in abject misery.

    The Marshall Plan insured American economic dominance as it assisted European rebuilding. It also disguised a massive off-the-books subsidy for CIA efforts in Europe and in the post-colonial world. Few of them were successful against the Soviets. They were successful in spiking many left of center governments.

    The US and its foreign policy priorities have dominated NATO since its inception, and the same with the other treaty-based alliances. That leaves little room for non-US priorities.

    • e.a.f. says:

      all of that aside, the Marshal plan helped millions of people get back on their feet again.

      Now what was the name of the General who wanted to keep going until they got to Moscow?   Might have been a good idea, but then the world was a tad tired of war.   The big mistake was leaving Russia with some much land and other countries.  Hind sight is 20/20 vision.

    • Cathy says:

      I’ve been swimming upstream to reply…

      Thanks especially for the possum adoption! As my nest empties out my family is pushing to adopt an orphan sloth (video). I’m a wicked witch and insist we do so only by proxy support of a rescue ranch, but jeeesh…What cuties.

      • Jenny says:

        Thanks Cathy. Sloths are cuties.  With the wacky political energy, I just needed to engage with some sweetness.  You might enjoy The Dodo “odd couples.” Animals know how to connect with one another (they are good teachers). 

        Henry and Baloo:


        Turkey and Dog Best friends:


        Butterball and Dogs


        • Cathy says:

          Enjoyed meeting Henry’s Emotional Support Baloo, the burrito thief, and thank goodness Butterball isn’t a turkey…

  17. Tom says:

    @bmaz at 7:57 am above – Thanks for the reference to Professor Winkler’s book. I’ll definitely check it out.

    • bmaz says:

      You will still be frustrated by the issue (as I think most of us here are), but it is a really superb look at the history and posture of both sides of the debate and the convoluted path to the present day (with a LOT of discussion of the critical Heller decision). You will be glad you read it, should you do so.

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Chalmers Johnson, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Alfred McCoy are or were prolific writers about US imperialism. A newer author is Daniel Immerwahr:

    Daniel Immerwahr. 2019. How to Hide an Empire: A Short History of the Greater United States.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Andrew Bacevich also has much to say about this topic. A recent contribution – Lost in the TrumpWorld: War in the Shadows (of You Know Who).

      More generally, there’s the americanempireprojectDOTcom.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks for suggesting those authors as sources of further reading. As far as American imperialism vis a vis Canada is concerned, up until the start of WWII the U.S. had three major war plans: one for Mexico, one for Japan, and one for Great Britain. War Plan Red, the last of the three, called for the invasion and conquest of Canada, including strategic bombing of Halifax, Montreal, and Quebec City with the U.S. Army employing poison gas as a “humanitarian” means of ending the war quickly. There were amendments to War Plan Red throughout the 1930s right up until Hitler’s invasion of Poland demonstrated what the next war was really going to be about. Churchill and Roosevelt then began the “special relationship” between the U.K and the U.S. This information is from the final pages of a 2007 work by a British military historian, Jon Latimer, called 1812: War with America. Latimer concludes that War Plan Red was the result of lingering American resentment towards Great Britain dating from the War of 1812.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        In the latter part of that period, the US was also jealous of sterling’s international role and Britain’s continuing if waning colonial power, which limited the international expansion of American corporations. 

        They were quite happy to keep investing in Germany, though, until after 1936. Awkwardly, one of the most powerful proponents of that was John Foster Dulles, then head of Sullivan & Cromwell and future Republican Secretary of State.  It took a virtual mutiny by his partners to get him to stop promoting investment in Nazi Germany, something American corporations were happy to do until shortly before the war started.

        The US and American corporations were delirious about the demise of the empire.  That was not because it would lead to local peace, independence and prosperity, but because it would open vast new markets to the dollar and to US business interests, without the burden of being politically accountable for the newly independent states.

    • punaise says:

      coinky-dink? I heard a snippet on the car radio from which I infer that Daniel Immerwahr will be interviewed on Fresh Air – presumably Monday.

      • Tom says:

        Thanks for the tip!  I hope I remember to tune in on Monday.   Isn’t that an example of what Carl Jung called “synchronicity”?

          • Cathy says:

            It’s veritable gold. And not the white kind.

            Unexpectedly it’s the discussion of the origins of chemotherapy that is eye-opening.

            The history (from NIH) seems to indicate that as a cancer treatment immunotherapy was not less viable than chemotherapy early on…

            At the turn of the last century, the emerging field of medical oncology chose a cytotoxic approach to cancer therapy over an immune-centered approach at a time when evidence in support of either paradigm did not yet exist. Today, nearly 120 years of data have established that (a) even the best cytotoxic regimens only infrequently cure late-stage malignancy and (b) strategies that supplement and augment existing antitumor immune responses offer the greatest opportunities to potentiate durable remission in cancer. [emphasis mine]

            Disappointing to find out that one man’s investigatory bias, devoid of what could charitably be called ethics, drove the research for so long.

          • Tom says:

            @punaise – Heard Professor Immerwahr on Fresh Air (well, fresh except for the smell of bird poop be-fowling the air) earlier today.    The next time the subject of bird guano comes up in a conversation I’m all set!

  19. bd says:

    There is something I have been thinking would be very useful for every citizen in our country, which if existed now I think would be an excellent aid in your search for a pattern (if there is one), as well as serve as a crucial tool for people to stay informed with regard to the representatives which they vote for or against.
    To keep this short, this tool would be:

    A database housing information pertaining to all elected officials:

    Every public comment, tweet, interview (transcribed), promises made, changes on positions

    Every bill sponsored/co-sponsored, voting statistics

    Campaign contributions received

    Job history

    Relations to companies (owned, family businesses, spouse’s family businesses)

    Relations to think tanks or other ‘organizations’ related to influencing politics/elections

    Past/ongoing involvement in lawsuits

    Publicly available work schedules

    This data-base would have an API interface for searching for key-words

    A mobile app for people to punch in their zipcode and be provided with this information at their fingertips

    For those already aware of something similar, please share. I’ve seen our government’s own public APIs for receiving data relating to legislature. I’ve used, however most tools are scattered (at least I am not aware of a common location).

  20. punaise says:

    I guess I’ll just park this here, a day late and $4.7B short:

    My phony Wall-entine

    Behold the way our hind-feathered fiend,
    His virtue doth parade
    Thou knowest not, my dim-witted fiend
    The picture thou hast made
    Thy vacant brow, and thy tousled hair
    Conceal thy ill intent
    Neither noble upright truthful or sincere,
    A highly dopey gent

    You’re my phony wall-entine,
    Tweet: cosmic wall-entine
    You make me revile with my heart.
    Your looks are laughable, un-photographable,
    Our least favorite jerk, a fart

    Is your figure less than Greek?
    Is your brain a little weak?
    When we open it to peek, are you smart?
    But, don’t change your dare for we.
    No, it’s not fair for we.
    Stray little Wall-entine, stray!
    Each day is  Wall-entine’s Day

  21. Rayne says:

    Since this is an open thread:
    xkcd on Free Speech (ep. 1357)

    Things frowned upon here include but not limited to: deliberate sockpuppeting, ad hominem attacks on contributors and/or commenters, (far-fetched) claims without substantiation, behavior denying other commenters’ use of comment thread, behavior undermining site integrity and/or or users’ security.

    Lisa Williams once explained that her blog was like her living room; she expected commenters to behave as they would in her living room. This seems a perfect rule of thumb — not overly specific but easy to understand. This might be a fairly raucous living room but hosts and guests alike don’t care for the jerk who does something nasty in the punch bowl.

    Or gods help us, brings Dana Perino’s excuse for queso dip.


  22. e.a.f. says:

    Our Mother taught us, nothing in life was free.  You had to work for everything.  If they offered something for free, be careful, there would be strings attached.   So as to free speech, you have to be willing to pay the price for it.

    There is nothing to be gained by “assaulting” people you disagree with.  Being polite usually works better.

  23. Doug Fir says:

    The irony of POTUS threatening to invoke a trumped-up emergency on the anniversary of Parkland is almost upbearable.

    On the other hand, the idea of providing a home for the DACA folk is delightful. Bienvenue au Canada!

  24. P J Evans says:

    The judge has slapped a partial gag order on Stone and his lawyers – it applies in and around the courthouse.

    Two links, because one has more details than the other.

    Also, Kaep has settled with the NFL.

    • Cathy says:

      Apologies @P J – I shouldn’t put you in the middle of my grousing…I’ll do it from here instead…

      [Ann Coulter] said the president was “fooling the rubes with a national emergency.”

      Remember the last time someone insulted Trump’s base and the Folks took it as a backhanded complement?

      At least “Rubes” is shorter and easier to rhyme than “Deplorables”…


  25. P J Evans says:

    @Rayne February 15, 2019 at 9:00 pm
    I checked mine against the CDC recommendations, year before last, and I’m missing only pneumonia and hepatitis. Which my primary-care guy should know – I took in the list of all the stuff I’d had, as part of patient-history reporting, and I keep him up to date on things like that. (He has e-mail. I use it.)

  26. Eureka says:

    LOL, this one’s for Peterr and anyone else who may be amused by the reply-thread of *differential* KC BBQ advice offered to the reporter vs to Spicer:

    Jennifer Bendery: “Hi @seanspicer. I see you’re on my flight to Kansas City. That means we’re on the same plane for 3 hours with no escape. Wanna do an interview? Lemme know. –Jen in Row 11”

  27. Eureka says:

    Idea for a t-shirt to summarize the ‘evolving’ GOP:

    Front:  “They were drunks but at least they could be trusted.”

    Back:  Dr. Atheist Von Clinton Celebrity Abortion Center and Vegan Advocacy Farm

    That would start a lot of conversations, lol.

  28. Vinnie Gambone says:

    “members of Congress who received much of the $50 million in NRA campaign contributions in 2016 ”

    The contributions listed don’t add  up to more than $500,000 let alone $50 Million.

    Let’s be precise because when we’re not  precise they use it against us.  I am sure these monsters find other ways than direct contributions to buy legislators, like direct mail, trips to russia, and so forth. I wonder how many NRA members have lost a loved one to gun violence and if they regret in any way  the heartache  their support has brought about,   or if they have remained the sick soulless fucks we imagine them to be.

    Things frowned upon here include but not limited to: deliberate sockpuppeting, ad hominem attacks on contributors and/or commenters, (far-fetched) “claims without substantiation”.

    I am sure the 1200 children is correct and it is the saddest statistic in America.

    And it does not include all the people who were shot but survived and whose lives will never be the same.

  29. P J Evans says:

    @Vinnie Gambone February 17, 2019 at 6:19 pm
    You sound nice. Do you have a newsletter? /S
    (Try learning from your experience here, instead of sounding like you go back to watching Fox and CNN for all your information.)

Comments are closed.