Ceci N’est Pas La Violence: The Treachery of Chad Wolf

I’ve had this image stuck in my head since the non-lawyer, movie-villainesque Secretary of Homeland Security complained about violence in Portland, Oregon.

In a now-deleted tweet, acting DHS Secretary Wolf posted this with three other photos in which he is looking at graffiti deposited on the federal courthouse’s exterior walls.

Violence, he calls it.

His nonsensical labeling called to mind a surrealist work with which you are likely familiar:

Image: La Traihison des Images (The Treachery of Images) by Rene Magritte, c. 1929, owned by Los Angeles County Museum of Art, via Wikipedia. Displayed here under Fair Use.

Just as this is not a pipe, what Wolf displays in his photos is not violence even if he calls it that. This palimpsest of paint is not “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.”[1]

It’s graffiti expressing outrage against state violence, a protest not unlike that in December 16, 1773, when protesters demonstrated against the state by tossing tea into Boston Harbor.

Tossing the tea wasn’t violence. It was a protest expressing rejection of oppressive state policies which denied colonists both representation and fair competition in the marketplace.

The graffiti in Portland protests and rejects systematic abuses by police — the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against persons of color which has resulted in higher rates of injury, death, excessive prosecution, and constant low level fear of police.

Wolf has been pushing this ‘graffiti is violence’ argument for days now. You’d think someone with a bachelor’s degree in history would have learned that graffiti is historically anything but violence.

Photo: Ancient Pompeii graffito caricature of a politician, by Zebulon via Wikipedia (CC0)

What destroyed Pompeii wasn’t the graffiti on its walls.

He’s also gone on a right-wing media tour, shifting his language to equate vandalism with terrorism. What horse shit. It wasn’t burning boxes and spray paint which took down the World Trade Center, giving rise the department he now leads.

Wolf has linked protests and vandalism — the latter can’t be blamed solely on protesters in the absence of any investigative effort to determine if agents provocateur were involved — with “violent anarchism,” using that label 72 times in a list of grievances against anti-racism protesters. Again, more bullshit.

It’s amazing how few federal employees and Portland police have been injured amid all this violence Wolf claims has occurred; it’s equally amazing how the streets of Portland continue to function under the pressure of all these anarchists.

Gosh, just look at the devastation — people walking about pandemic-emptied streets unimpeded, minding their own business. Unmarked security forces conducting undocumented warrantless arrests are the answer to this kind of outrageous calm, aren’t they?

Chad Wolf is an idiot who’s damaged what little remained of Homeland Security’s legitimacy. Even employees within DHS have expressed concerns about their mission under Wolf’s questionable leadership.

Wolf certainly isn’t ensuring the security of this country by actively targeting American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights, sending out personnel untrained in crowd control and riot response to deal with amorphous groups’ peaceful protests, armed to the teeth and ready to toss pepper spray and non-lethal loads at the drop of a hat, fomenting violence.

It’s so patently obvious Wolf’s minions have no intention of deescalating tensions and aren’t there to protect federal property but instead to mete out punishment even on passive dissenters. Indeed,Wolf is the source of violence.

This Navy veteran who reminded Wolf’s minions of their oaths put them on notice. Any of these federal employees who are not upholding their oaths by executing unlawful orders and violating civil rights should be investigated and prosecuted. They have personal agency and should be pushing back at Wolf for failing his own oath of office.

Meanwhile, the real work of Homeland Security is given short shrift in order to unlawfully surveil Americans using protests as a pretext to treat citizens like hostile foreign adversaries. This is yet another distortion of words and meaning, shifting the identity of our country’s enemies from intrusive foreign agents and terroristic white supremacists to citizens who have legitimate protests against a system which is killing Americans with impunity.

Seriously, though: is Chad Wolf going to start spying on moms, invading their Facebook groups, Instagram cooking posts, and bookclub blogs to suss their plans this evening?

Is he going to start calling mothers ‘enemies of the people’?

When moms in yoga pants and bike helmets are under attack for protecting peaceful protesters, Wolf needs to stop the word games and ask himself just who the real enemy is, and whose side he’s really on.

As one sign held by a mom read, “Step Off, Chad.”

It’s time for Wolf to go.


[1] Definition from The World Health Organization’s World report on violence and health 

156 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Want to point out the paint which reads, “If not us, who? If not now, when?” paraphrasing Jewish scholar Hillel the Elder, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And being for myself, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?”

    So much violence. ~smh~

  2. Alan says:

    I don’t understand why the City of Portland hasn’t put temporary fences around the Federal buildings to contain the DHS squads.

    • Rayne says:

      I did see photos of concrete barriers being put in place though I have no idea what entity is responsible for them. Maybe it’ll keep Chad’s Chads in place and away from peaceful protesters.

      • thomasa says:

        Blues shouter Bessie Smith nailed it with “Mean Blue Spirits,” interpreted here by Erika Lewis and Tuba Skinny. (I don’t think it works without the question mark but perhaps moderation can fix the tracking. I put a space in the link.)
        https://www.you tube.com/watch?v=PFj5t9VW1gs

        Perhaps Bellingcat’s videos show what Hell looks like. Erika sure tells the story well.

      • namekarB says:

        Great timeline of events. Many thanks for that link.

        Loved the twitter response in penultimate paragraph:
        “This is the natural escalation of the last 7 weeks. This is what has come of Portlanders protesting police brutality for 50 days: more bizarre acts of police brutality.”

  3. MB says:

    Chad Wolf’s previous job was to work as a lobbyist for clients who wished to secure lucrative contracts with the TSA. All cabinet positions within the Trump admin are temporary way-stations filled until the appropriate yes-man of the moment is found and installed. Only 2 of the 5 Secretary of Homeland Security folks have been actually formally nominated and confirmed by the Senate: John Kelly and Kirstjen Nielsen. The other 3 were/are all “Acting”: Elaine Duke basically did nothing while waiting for Nielsen’s confirmation, Kevin McAleenan, previously CBP Commissioner, probably introduced the idea of using border patrol personnel as federal rent-a-cops to Trump, but then left for the “private sector” so Chad Wolf could take that idea and run with it. Truly, the Trump admin is just a larger stage for The Apprentice…

  4. civil says:

    I found this thread a useful read:
    “Today on TV, the Deputy Director of the federal paramilitary force in #PDX discussed the infamous van video. He described a textbook example of an unconstitutional arrest. But… he doesn’t seem to know it. That is a BIG PROBLEM. Let’s unpack this. …”

    And Steve Vladeck points out that “Today is day 470 without a Senate-confirmed Secretary of Homeland Security. There has *never* been a longer vacancy in *any* Cabinet position. And there hasn’t even been a nominee at any point during that time—even though the President’s party controls the Senate. That’s nuts.”

    I certainly hope that the Senate flips and the Democrats retain control of the House, and together they reform the Vacancies act to disallow this kind of end-run around congressional approval.

  5. Eureka says:

    Photo here, too (from 21st, referring to night of 20th):

    Christy Thornton: “The chair of the History dept at Lewis & Clark was shot in the face by federal forces in Portland last night.”

    Elliott Young: “Last night my friend, chair of History Dpt. @lewisandclark, was shot in the head by Trump’s goons. If you know Mo, you know she is the most peaceful protestor one can imagine. As an act of solidarity, I ask that all of you who have stayed home to get out on the street tonight. [photo] ”

    “Acting Chad” Wolf must be so proud. I’ll add that this woman could be a grandmother, just like the one depicted in Trump’s latest Biden attack ad which tries to sell Grandma as victim to police defunding. Except this is real.

    The truth of what Trump is doing is more terrible than fiction.

    • Rayne says:

      Somebody needs to pull together an advert about the grandmothers who’ve been killed or injured by police after trying to do the right thing.

      Sacramento police shot man holding cellphone in his grandmother’s yard

      Chicago Grandmother Killed by Police Was ‘Being a Good Citizen’

      Terrifying moments for a young Black man and his family in Texas, as numerous cops point guns on him and then assault his 90-year-old grandmother.
      His alleged offense: rolling through a stop sign.

      • Eureka says:


        & given the ad climate I was wondering if Biden might pick up on this, but I notice in this market anyway that his campaign really doesn’t bother dealing with Trump’s BS ads. Also way fewer Biden ads in general (which I take as a continued good sign). (Trump has been running ads during nearly every commercial break of the afternoon/evening news, shitty ones at that, and I can’t wait to wash him out to sea with our votes.)

        • chrisanthemama says:

          The worst is seeing trump ads on HGTV, usually late evening, trying to get away from politics and zone out to Property Brothers or some such. I message HGTV and tell them every time I see a political ad, I will not watch their channel for 24 hours after. I’m just one set of eyes, but I do what I can.

          • Chris.EL says:

            …my tiny little perspective: got weary of shelling oodles of $ every month for cable so d/c’d. it. Oh the JOY !!!: I don’t have to see Trump’s ugly mug except if I elect to intentionally view a video or photo. Sometimes I have to put my finger over his photo on my phone when I can’t take anymore.
            Every time I see a photo of trump sitting he looks like a man sitting on the toilet. Case in point: Chris Wallace interview. Toilet spread. I think he also has lifts in his shoes.

            • P J Evans says:

              We’ve known about the lifts – they’re actually fairly obvious, when he’s sitting like that, because the curve of his heel is visible. He’s definitely under 6ft3, probably by two or three inches.

            • P J Evans says:

              Today there’s a photo of him with Brett Favre. Favre is 6ft 2. Trmp is about that, with the lifts. (His arms are much shorter than Favre’s. Like six inches.)
              ht tps://twitter.com/KagroX/status/1287144522993065984

  6. Philo T says:

    Sure, mayor Wheeler said he wasn’t letting the police coordinate with the feds as soon as they showed up. But it took a week of public reporting and pressure to kick them out of the emergency command center:

    Protests have been so intense in Portland because of the imperious, out of control Portland Police Bureau who believe themselves above all civilian oversight and answerable to no one.

    It is no coincidence that Trump has picked Portland, Albuquerque, and Chicago for his first deployments of his goon squad. Three cities with historically racist, corrupt, violent police willing to buck elected officials.

    • Yohei72 says:

      Being from the other side of the country and knowing almost nothing about local Portland politics, I was initially impressed by Wheeler’s rhetoric. But the more I hear, the more it’s clear his actions don’t measure up.

    • vvv says:

      Chicago’s going to be an interesting experiment in that regard. There is a Democrat mayor, Lori Lightfoot, a gay woman of color, who is from a corporate law back ground but definitely not conservative. She recently hired Dallas’ former chief for Chicago, David Brown, an African American who sadly lost his own son to gun violence but may be having a hard time getting the cops’ support (it’s unclear to me). Both are seemingly relatively sympathetic to protesters, and Lightfoot has been battling trump for a long time.

      And then there’s the FOP, whose president’s antics go beyond reasonable advocacy for and representation of his members to sending a letter to trump while noting his support of the failed president includes wearing his “45 gear”, as he requests “help from the federal government” for Chicago as he deems the mayor to be “a complete failure who is either unwilling or unable to maintain law and order here.”

      Lightfoot in last night’s and other recent news conferences has really laid into the Portland response and said Chicago will “not allow” such conduct here. She also says Wolf has agreed that the feds will only work actual crimes, and not protests; they have “re-assigned” 150 Feds already here and are importing another approximate 200. I note 15 people were shot at a funeral in a gang-related incident at a funeral on Tuesday in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood – there’s clearly at least one gang war going on – and trump brought that up today as a reason for this deployment (which they had announced days or maybe a week before).

  7. Yohei72 says:

    As a serial violator of the dictum, “Don’t read the comments,” I find watching right-wing rhetoric morph to be sometimes fascinating. The really historic thing about this moment, and the dangerous thing to the racist powers that be, is how multi-racial the current coalition is – how so many white people are finally coming out to the front lines. “Ha! How do you like that, racists? Now try saying BLM is ‘an anti-white hate group’! How many black people ever marched with the KKK?”

    But I underestimated the resourcefulness of their defense mechanisms. I’m now seeing a new talking point spread like wildfire: apparently, most black people don’t actually support BLM – it’s bratty white leftist kids appropriating black people as an excuse to stir up trouble.

    Racists can wriggle out of facts like a cat out of a harness leash.

    • namekarB says:

      I find it telling that the militia groups that stood up against the federal government in Eastern Oregon are perfectly okay with a federal crackdown in Western Oregon

  8. dude says:

    Jeh Johnson (Obama’s DHS director) was on Rachel Maddow’s show yesterday and said he believes the officers from DHS are not strictly Federal employees, but contractors. He seemed to say that was one reason they needed proper ‘police’ training if they were going to be there at all in any useful capacity.

  9. vicks says:

    I think this has been cooking for a while.
    We all blinked when Trump used the description “my generals” as if these men were his toys,
    Then in October of an election season he used strong man words to justify sending our troops to the border to protect us from dangerous mobs of brown people.
    He made his obligatory comment about George Floyd, and proceeded to start right up with Antifa = boogeyman at the beginning of the protests.
    He was obviously looking for more action so he started egging on the boog-a-loo crowd.
    I think he assumed that would be enough to call out the storm troopers, but things were still looking pretty weak so prime time Fox and other fan boys and girls in the media jumped in and spent a week clarifying that “this” was about race and protecting what is yours.
    I’m sensing this is a miscalculation, that the public is not all in on this, maybe George Floyd’s death really is changing the world.
    I think that no matter how loud the whistles are, there are going to be some people that just aren’t going to come running any more.
    I’m not in one of the targeted cities, but if the shift is being felt in similar ways across the country, fingers crossed it is enough to shut this shit down.

    • dude says:

      Trump was once close to “wrasslin” and all the posturing that goes with its ludicrous hype, cheap-thrills production, and rabidly adoring fans. But for all it’s fakery, it is about violence in the service of melodrama—or maybe the other way around. Victors in catch-as-catch-can are alternately heroic flag-wrapped champions or greedy, self-serving bastards who revel in grinding their heels into opponents or kicking them when the bout is over. The similarity of Trump to Ric Flair may seem far-fetched to some–maybe in body-build–but the theatre of big time wrestling (a theatre of absurd fantasy) and Trump (and his cast of colorful Administration “managers”) is too hard for me to ignore. The problem with this whole act is that this clown is using real power when trying to break us with his figure-four grapevine.

      • dude says:

        And yes, I want to see a national survey looking at the correlation of wrestling fans to a disposition to vote for Donald Trump. I’ll bet the positive correlation is much greater than a survey of Wall Street bankers. Tea-Party advocates or even Republican party members.

        • Tom says:

          Or even people who can recite the words: “Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.” Every time I see that video clip of Trump I hear in my mind the voice of Patricia Neal saying, “Gort, Klaatu barada nikto” in “The Day the Earth Stood Still”.

      • gmoke says:

        It’s all kayfabe, baby and Trmp is in the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame. He’s a babyface, he’s a heel, babyface, heel….

        Who else thinks these Federal goons are gonna be at polling stations along with the cosplay militias come Election Day?

      • Rugger9 says:

        I would have guessed Butterbean as the body type, but the rest is on point. McMahon getting shaved is a good show.

  10. Raven Eye says:

    This stuff is the living example of “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

    The reaction of the feds to Naked Athena was a classic case of that inflexibility. In my mind, that incident highlights the problem with Trump’s approach, and the people who have bound themselves in loyalty to Trump. What these feds don’t appreciate is that effective protests are adaptive. Those on the protestor side who have the ability to influence their peers, either by direction, suggestion, or example, naturally develop ways to get the establishment wrong-footed.

    The Wall of Moms it another great moment for America. Middle-aged women in yellow shirts and bicycle helmets are now one of the strongest images from these nights in Portland — more impact than a dozen burning dumpsters. My heart goes out to them in gratitude.

  11. Jan says:

    The Republican National Convention is next month.
    A “theme” is needed for the Convention, and the Campaign ahead.
    I’m guessing, from all evidence, that the theme they’ve landed on will be “Law and Order”.
    Now, with any theme there must be some reasoning, some ‘inspiration’ if you will.
    How will it be had? It seems obvious to me.

  12. Tom says:

    Trump’s thuggish use of federal agents in camo garb with no names or identifying insignia to suppress dissent in the streets of America reminds me of Putin’s deployment of “little green men” — i.e., Russian troops in anonymous green uniforms–to invade the Crimea and eastern Ukraine in 2014.

  13. Falun Dong says:

    There’s a simple way to push back against these shock troops. Use self-defense laws and stand-your-ground laws to cap these thugs/goons. Since they are unidentified, they can’t claim you purposely shot a federal officer or an officer of the law. Anyone could dress up in camo and look like these unidentified federal shock troops (think Boogaloo Boys) and we still have the right (for now) to defend ourselves against violence and I would argue being kidnapped and thrown hooded into an unmarked van is violence.

    My wife noted in our locale that she, in the past month, on two separate occasions, witnessed presumably an officer of the law in civilian clothing, meaning unidentified, in an unmarked police vehicle pulling over “suspects.” My instructions to her and my daughter and my 18-year-old son were to never ever ever pull over for an unmarked vehicle despite flashing lights. By law, a police vehicle MUST be definitively marked, otherwise crude police impersonators can engage in a charade to kidnap unsuspecting citizens.

    • Rayne says:

      Suggesting people refuse to pull over is very easy for someone who has no fear of being harassed and murdered with impunity for being brown.

    • vicks says:

      There is usually more to the advice that is given when there are stories of impostors posing as law enforcement, including driving to a public location where there will be witnesses and asking for badge number and your right to call the local precinct, even better if you can drive to the closest precinct.
      I have not followed all the cases but initially it seemed that those snatched, were released as soon as they (not bystanders) objected to thier rights being violated.
      I have to wonder how many, like myself would benefit from a PSA describing what my rights are and how to stay safe if I were to be grabbed off the streets by someone in an “army-guy” costume.

      • P J Evans says:

        this, via Twitter:
        Mary Sue, M.Ed. @MarySueSays

        All right, let’s all remember the Five Statements:

        1) I am exercising my right to remain silent, and my right to a lawyer.
        2) Am I Being Detained?
        3) I don’t have to discuss my day with you.
        4) Do you have a warrant?
        5) Am I free to go?


        5:40 PM · Jul 16, 2020

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      “There’s a simple way to push back against these shock troops. Use self-defense laws and stand-your-ground laws to cap these thugs/goons.”

      For every problem there is a simple solution. And it’s always wrong.

      I was outraged seeing the Feds wailing on Christopher David the other night. If he had hit back with a right cross, I’d have said it was justified. If he pulled a gun and shot one of them, I’d have called it wholly unjustified and second-degree murder. Moreover, what would have been the response of the Feds, who, as noted, are not trained law enforcement officers & not even trained in crowd control? They would have shot him and maybe shot into the crowd of “violent anarchists” as well. Upping the violence would be the worst thing to do. It would also bolster Trump and have very little support even outside the frothy right.

      I tweeted to “Captain Portland” that he should push local authorities to press charges against the Feds involved for assault under color of authority, which is a felony. I don’t know if that is a feasible path politically, but it’s better than shooting them, IMHO.

      “Since they are unidentified, they can’t claim you purposely shot a federal officer or an officer of the law.”

      Well, if a “boogaloo” shot a Fed and were tried in a deep-red state, they might get acquitted. If a “violent anarchist” did that, they’d likely spend a long time behind bars, regardless of the venue. Also, I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing that a deep-blue state like Oregon doesn’t have a “stand your ground” law.

      • Falun Dong says:

        Alan, one day, and admittedly that day is not yet, you will have to shoot them or merely be at their mercy. America is quickly devolving into its red-headed stepchild, Latin America. It’s coming as sure as the rain is coming. We’re reaching a point, or perhaps have reached the point, where the legal system and the political system offer no protection whatsoever as woefully inadequate and corrupt as they both currently are.

        This is July. Federal agents are abducting people. A test run for what’s to come? Perhaps. Probably. No one can and will do anything about it aside from some hyperbolic outrage on spectacle media. Fast forward to October and November. Federal agents abducting protesters off the the street may just look like a walk in the park in comparison. At some point, a more formidable stand will have to be taken before it’s too late. In my opinion, it’s already too late and the writing is on the wall.

        • John Lehman says:

          “ At some point, a more formidable stand will have to be taken before it’s too late. In my opinion, it’s already too late and the writing is on the wall.”

          -As in, a discreet consolidation of the US Military to defend the Constitution?
          Military brass have already openly condemned the Barr/Trump pseudo-religious fiasco in D.C.

          • John Lehman says:

            Hopefully someone in the Military is fluent in “mob speak”
            “Nice little tin pot you have there”.

        • hideousnora says:

          I’m not part of the regular discussions here, but I read this blog everyday and have been reading Marcy since last hurrah. I’m punching up; I stay quiet and learn a lot. But I have to say that encouraging panic and “eye for an eye” solutions are not what they’re about around here. Falun Gong, please lay off.

  14. harpie says:

    Steve Vladeck:

    1] https://twitter.com/steve_vladeck/status/1286011250246385665
    2:52 PM · Jul 22, 2020

    A federal official who
    a] may not have been lawfully appointed
    b] is using camouflaged, anonymous officers who aren’t trained for domestic policing
    c] under a statute that doesn’t authorize shows of force
    d] to arrest protestors under a standard that violates the Fourth Amendment

    2] https://twitter.com/steve_vladeck/status/1286030248312799234
    4:07 PM · Jul 22, 2020

    a] No statute authorizes federal law enforcement officers to generally restore order.
    b] Throughout our history, the military—including today’s National Guard—has been the federal actor in such cases.
    c] That Trump isn’t using it underscores that this isn’t *really* about restoring order.

    The point is not that the federal government is powerless in cases in which local and state officials are unable or unwilling to restore order.

    The point is that there’s a clearly lawful, precedented way for the federal government to act—and that that’s not what Trump is doing.

    • harpie says:

      After the “Trump’s show of force bible photo op in DC” episode, the military realized it had made a mistake and pulled back from further supporting the un-American behavior of the president of the United States.

      The Department of HomeFatherland Security has no such qualms.

  15. Peterr says:

    Once upon a time, Republicans loved graffiti. Of course, that was back when someone else was the target of the artists . . .

    The wall itself started as an overnight barbed wire creation in August of 1961. It resulted from the constant disputes of the “East” and “West” over the status of Allied occupied Berlin and Germany. It came to symbolize the Cold War and was the most “concrete” expression of the Iron Curtain that existed throughout the period. It evolved into the sophisticated security system of concrete walls, electric fences, guard towers, and no-man’s land depicted in the photographs.

    The art of the wall was a product of the eighties when the wall was reconstructed with prefabricated concrete slabs 14 feet high. This provided a perfect canvas for the artists of the dynamic international community of West Berlin. The artists were soon joined by the multitude of visitors to the wall in creating the potpourri of art, graffiti, and messages for which the wall became the focus. The resulting colorful expressions on the West side of the wall were in sharp contrast to the East’s sterile ramparts and came to symbolize the differences of the separate societies.

    On one side the free expression of the open society of West Berlin, while on the other was the blank walls of the repressed society that was East Berlin.

    Click through for some spectacular galleries of photos of this grand political statement that sprang from ordinary folks with brushes and paint.

    See also more commentary on some of the best artwork of the wall here.

  16. Vinnie Gambone says:

    That grafiti can be power washed off in hours, and should be. The destruction and hostilities have made every American aware of racial injustice. Continuing these tactics eventually hurts the prospects for change especially when Trump uses the “unrest” to justify his tactics. This is all about creating “content ” now, and both sides are doing that. Social justice to me shows itself through jobs and education. Should be more coverage on what. exactly, the protesters want. They are allowing themselves to be portrayed badly. They are playing into trump’s hands. There are many other “pressure points’ besides federal buildings to make their points. We could learn a thing or two from Hong Kong.

  17. John McManus says:

    Trump and Barr are setting up ‘a voters in line as terrorists’ but they may have already neutralized them selves by acting too early. Various courts will rule on constitutionality before November.

    • harpie says:

      Here’s the whole clip:

      Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Addresses House on Exchange with Representative Ted Yoho

      New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez addresses the House on a point of personal privilege to discuss an altercation she had with Florida Republican Representative Ted Yoho on the steps of the U.S. Capitol earlier in the week, in which Mr. Yoho allegedly engaged in abusive language and name-calling over policy differences. Following her remarks, other members of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, as well as some other members, also speak on the matter.

      • John Paul Jones says:

        Favourite line; “I have tossed men out of bars [for] using this language.” Love it. Rep. Jayapal on the history of the word “b***h” was pretty good too.

      • Jenny says:

        Thank you Harpie. Good for AOC speaking out. Yep, exposing abusive misogynistic men.

        “Whenever you think about disrespecting a woman, think about how you were born into this world.” Anonymous

      • BobCon says:

        This is the Washington Post coverage, with a statement by Pelosi and another by Hoyer, who joined a group of House Democratic women who were supporting AOC.


        I think it is safe to assume that this scene will be repeated a lot as the GOP attempts to push boundaries. Gingrich got mileage out of stunts in the 80s, and I think the House GOP’s SCIF stunt will seem mild. The House is going to need rules changes to anticipate a much bigger breakdown in comity.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s rhetoric reminds me of the “Friends, Romans, Countrymen…” speech from Julius Caesar (not the Robin Williams version). Her talent, drive, and humanity are a stark contrast with the entire Republican Party. We would be lucky were she to choose to stay in government.

        • BobCon says:

          The most likely big threat is in redistricting in 2022. There is a nasty fight in NY State between establishment Dems and reformers, and the old school would like to chop up her district and force her to run a tough race.

          I think a lot of the Pelosi-AOC friction is driven by Pelosi’s ties to Hakeem Jeffries, who is firmly with the old guard in NY. He’s also not a super sharp guy, but part of the NY State Democratic Party’s MO has been elevating dull skulls to minimize challenges to real bosses.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Albany has been a political cesspool since before Cornelius Vanderbilt bribed the hell out of it.

          I hear that Chuck Schumer also spent $15 million to oppose progressive Democrats in state primaries. Gotta keep the progressive wolf from the Wall Street door. Eliot Engel’s primary loss to Jamaal Bowman will only have urged them to greater efforts.

  18. Pete T says:

    In researching I cannot find anything related to legal “relief” if an acting position has exceeded 120 days and a permanent replacement has not be nominated much less participating the confirmation process.

    Is there relief set forth in law and who would have standing to initiate the (legal) action? This seems more like the toothless emoluments “clauses”.


    BTW – I suppose this is a whole new topic, but last night on Maddow, the mentioned that there is foreign emoluments and non-foreign emoluments. The foreign emoluments was mentioned in reference to Trumps asking the then UK ambassador to intervene getting the British Open moved to Turnberry, Scotland. The move has not happened – yet. But there are other foreign emoluments issues related to Saudi Arabia for example. On the domestic front the scam seems to be having Trump fundraisers at Trump properties and donations related to use fo the facility channeled right into The Trump Org. More, I am sure.

    • dude says:

      The scam Maddow outlined is a slight variation of the Trump family’s All County Building Supply & Maintenance racket. These Trumps are creatures of habit, one trick ponies. They have now applied it to government services.

  19. Rugger9 says:

    I wonder if Acting DHS Secretary Wolf’s status as being past his expiration (by 42 days and counting) would affect his ability to claim qualified immunity from the lawsuits coming over his incitement of the unmarked troops. After all, that’s what the Bush 2 WH did about splitting hairs between “enemy combatants” and “prisoners” to deny Geneva rights to “combatants” and is a darn good reason to wear a uniform. Not that I would expect it, but would CBP also refuse orders from Wolf? How about the various PDs since Wolf does not have statutory authority?

    If they do not identify as police and do not have a probable cause to detain (i.e. no presumption of criminality) then it’s kidnapping, and that might be what some of the locals could do. However, let’s also remember from the police union (or benevolent association, etc.) perspective this crackdown is A-OK and they are willing to bypass the chain of command, or as in Minneapolis, act as agent provocateurs.

  20. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Digby has a couple of posts about the origins of Trump’s perverted notion of Law ‘n Order. In effect, it’s a mishmash of Charles Bronson’s Death Wish films and the chaos, crime, bankruptcy, and white flight that was 1970’s NYC.

    Bronson, an active shooter and lone vigilante, does for New Yorkers what no mayor or police commissioner could accomplish: restore the world to rights, which means protecting law abidin’ hard workin’ white folks to their comfort zone, and sending an army of criminals – not coincidentally, all people of color – straight to hell. Bronson walks scot free, seeking anonymity, not thanks or reward.

    The hypothesis seems right, without being an intellectual stretch for anyone with a subscription to cable TV. I think it obscures, though, how middle class white flight harmed middling developers like the Trumps, but opened vast opportunities for the wealthiest developers, members of the real Deep State, which Trump hates so much.

    I think it also ignores what Bandy Lee and Mary Trump have been writing about. Trump’s vision of those times – the decade when most people his age would have come to maturity – is warped and perverted. His racism, misogyny, sociopathy, and self-obsession were not made by those times. They twisted his response to those times into another fantasy he could use to advance his destructive self-obsession. A fantasy now playing in Portland and coming to a city near you.


  21. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne.
    Portland insanity. Trump fueled the fire in Portland. Now more protesters will be coming out. Protesters don’t play into the violence! Protest peacefully, no violence.

    Trump’s Testosterone Troops (TTT) at taxpayers expense being sent to cities he deems dangerous (Obama is from Chicago) is not surprising considering Trump is looking for a fight. His cruel words and behavior demonizes someone in order to discredit and tear down to make himself feel superior. Very much like radical white supremacy. A puncher, counter-puncher, fight to the end.

    Remember the excuse is “Trump is a counter-puncher. If someone hits him, he hits 10 times harder.” Others who use this excuse – every domestic abuser, murder, child abuser who feels like he may have been disrespected. Anger can be addictive making egos righteous, justified or victimized. The physical body becomes addicted to the chemical reaction that anger, fear and sadness create.

    This is a pattern. Peaceful protesters in DC were hit with rubber bullets and tear gas to clear a path for Trump to hold up a bible at St. John’s church for a photo op. Presently, it is Portland and expanding to more cities from Abuser in Chief.

    • Rayne says:

      There’s a discussion in Twitter about the nature of the federal presence being performative — not really effective at doing anything except making a show of authoritarianism.

      But we need to be prepared to see this show scale. I would not be one bit surprised to see tangerine twatwaffle tell his boy Chad he wants all blue state polling places to have contractors in fascist cosplay on election day to harass voters. Are we ready to confront the kabuki?

      • Jenny says:

        Rayne, the Abuser in Chief is “making a show of authoritarianism.” I agree. Addicted to anger. Could be a “high” for him.

        Lights, camera, action! The smell of the “orange” greasepaint, the roar of the crowd. He does like a production and performing as an authoritarian. We the People need to removed the spotlight, get the hook, close the curtain and shut down the production.

        He could be itching for martial law prior to the election.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Donald only occasionally knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He uses whichever is most convenient, for however long it’s convenient. So, I agree, we should be preparing for a programmatic roll-out of his stormtroopers. His need to deny, and for chaos and retribution, will be off the charts when he loses in a landslide to Joe Biden.

      • Marinela says:

        I feel this is more than just making a show of authoritarianism.
        It is chilling to me that we rely now on the peaceful demonstrators that are literally risking being hurt, to fight Trump’s secret police goons.
        Nobody sane wants protesters hurt. Ideally congress, AGs, IGs, ACLU, will act in parallel to address this situation.
        Who is paying for these federal troupes, if they are contractors? I mean under what bucket is this operation justified in the first place?

        Can congress just cut the budget for these operations?

    • Stephen Calhoun says:

      Trump. He is deathly afraid of germs.

      He sometimes seems primitively related to the viscera of injury, and to menstruation. He has at times expressed a voyeur’s attitude toward violence happening elsewhere.

      I wonder if he has ever punched anyone at all in his adult life. He fantasizes, maybe even fetishizes, his attitude of “punching back harder.” Yet, he likes the surrogate to do this for him.

      My own amateur opinion: Trump is the kind of bully who is deeply afraid, is a coward, and, projects what he is afraid of—his animus—onto other people. One thing he is afraid of is being found out.

      To rectify being an impostor, Trump needs adulation, affirmation, and obedience. I’m not in Mary Trump’s league, yet I’m old and so can muse to myself, “calling Doctors Freud and Jung.”

      • J R in WV says:

        We do know that Trump was decked by his dad, and ordered to put on a suit and tie — to go to a baseball game with his dad… I think this was while The Donald was at Miltary School for High School.

        Of course I could be wrong about which generation did the hitting, and which was hit… Getting old, one’s memory begins to fail a little bit, at time.

  22. Eureka says:


    Tim Dickinson: “Here is your Department of Justice arguing that reporters don’t have a right to document the nightly, violent federal crowd clearing in Portland: [link to doc]”

    via Jesse Damiani’s ongoing thread re Operation Legend. Lots of gems, such as:

    Jesse Damiani: “PS/ See if you can *not* get chills looking at this photo… ”

    and scroll up for link to Just Security on a Barr interview in 2001, re Barr’s 1989 pioneering use of federal forces.

    “8/ Important context: Barr has a long history of backdooring federal agents into situations where they don’t belong.

    Barr in 2001: “We found these old cases that said the federal government could go in there. This was without declaring martial law.” “

    • P J Evans says:

      Whoever helped them avoid taxes is going to be in trouble too – the tax preparer has to sign off on the forms, also. (I have one, because Schedule D is beyond my level of competence. It’s a lot of money, but worth it.)

  23. milestogo says:

    The vans used by DHS are rented through Enterprise.


    There are two methods of contacting Enterprise to log a complaint. The first is through their online form here:

    The second is through their press inquires here:

    Email: [email protected]
    Call: 1-855-298-0346
    Headquarters: 1-314-512-2299

    I used both forms of communication to deliver the following message:


    Recent reporting has revealed that you are renting the vans used by unmarked federal DHS officers in Portland. As has been reported widely, these vans are being used in illegal abduction of peaceful protestors exersizing their first amendment right to free speach.

    It seems certain that utilizing your vehicles for illegal operations is against Enterprise policy, in violation of their contract, potentially exposing you to significant liability. The acting head of DHS, Chad Wolf has descibed these operations as “proactive arrests” clearly a violation of due process and constitutional rights. I ask that you immediately terminate all Portland contracts with DHS and demand immediate recall of these vehicles.



    • bmaz says:

      “Proactive arrests”. I cannot tell folks how insane that term and statement by Wolf is. Just no.

  24. CD54 says:

    Speaking of Portland/Chicago (I actually held this for a day ’cause it seemed reactionary.):

    But if I were a municipal chief executive of a major city threatened with a Trump-Federal goon squad invasion I might creatively muster and deploy a significant portion of my city-owned vehicles in some kind of maze-like standby configuration which just happened to, not only block out any unauthorized non-resident drivers from accessing the streets near federal properties, but would ALSO block and prevent any vehicle, including any such federal goon squad rented vehicle, from egressing any such area without a valid pass from the municipal governing authority.

    I mean, what are a bunch of goons in rented minivans going to do when every street they want to use is closed off with 27 dump trucks with snowplows attached?

    “I’m sorry. I can’t move this truck without authorization from the MAYOR, do you have any such authorization?”

    Let’em all bunker down in their Federal properties until 9:00 am — Start of Business.

    • bmaz says:

      Protecting the federal properties is fine. The FPS has always been around for that. And, no, idiot “protesters”* should not be trying to burn down and deface federal courthouses.

      But that is not what is going on, federal goon squads are being deployed in the city at large.
      *acknowledging that the not-peaceful vandals and assholes are not really “protesters”, and are often just instigators trying to cause a problem. I’ve been to the Hatfield courthouse on business, there is nothing intimidating or bad about it whatsoever.

      • The Old Redneck says:

        I was in Portland last week. I walked around downtown. Everyone was going about their business all over the city.
        The Hatfield courthouse, like virtually all federal courthouses, is impregnable. There are boards over the windows and doors, and graffiti in one spot on a concrete wall at ground level. That’s it (I’d post a picture if this format allowed it). Of course, graffiti can be washed off or painted over, and boards can be removed.
        The “mayhem in our streets” shtick is laughable. This is an exercise in provocation, not protection.

        • bmaz says:

          No courthouse is impregnable. And none should be tagged with graffiti, and none should have to be boarded up. Any jackass causing that should be carted off to jail. I have zero tolerance for such assholes. And, no that is NOT a “protester”, it is a vandal and criminal.

          • The Old Redneck says:

            I don’t condone that behavior either. I think it allows people to dismiss you as thuggish. My point is simply that Portland civilization is not crumbling. What minimal damage there is can be repaired quickly. Don’t believe the hype!

            • BobCon says:

              This is similar to what was true in Minneapolis and DC this year, Batimore during the Freddie Gray uprising, and elsewhere recently — the number of properties with serious damage was actually pretty limited. It was a marked contrast to the much more widespread looting and fires in Detroit and Newark, for example, in the 1960s and LA after the Rodney King verdict.

              A big piece of it is protest organizers have gotten a lot more organized and focus heavily on chasing away both opportunists and dilettante wannabe revolutionaries. I think there is also a different mood in a lot of communities too, for that matter.

              It’s still a problem, for sure, and it doesn’t take many idiots to cause some serious damage. But it has caused a problem for a lot of the press and pundits, because their traditional models of covering protests don’t function when the reality is so heavily tilted toward police abuse of people peacefully assembling to call for change.

      • Marinela says:

        Any progress to identify the provocateurs?

        In Minneapolis for example, at George Floyd protests, there were few young white people that were causing problems, vandalizing, stealing. They arrested few and the ones arrested sure enough were white.

        There is much confusion, also it appears the local PDs have a lot of tolerance for the white provocateurs.

  25. earlofhuntingdon says:

    There were already enough reasons to criticize the NYT. This one encapsulates many of them. It is a hit-piece of the kind normally found in an opinion column by Maureen Dowd.

    The NYT’s headline writers applaud Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s refusal to give in to racist and sexist abuse by a Republican Congressman from Florida. But Luke Broadwater and Catie Edmondson have other ideas. Using Trumpian projection, they describe AOC as the disruptor, who has “upended traditions,” “harnessed the power of social media,” and has the audacity to challenge leaders “50 years her senior.”

    As @MarkHarrisNYC notes, the NYT refused to publish the expletives Ted Yoho used in his aggressive rant. It didn’t witness them, and he denied saying them, so that’s that. But it quotes AOC reading them into the congressional record – “punching each syllable in the vulgarity.” Broadwater and Edmondson are not expressing shame at Yoho’s conduct toward a woman colleague, 35 years his junior, whom he outweighs by over 150 pounds. They want to illustrate Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s skill in “using her detractors to amplify her own political brand.”

    Shattering the norms that empower white male aggression is the point, if one wants to move toward equality for women and people of color. If the NYT believes that, then Dean Baquet – who must think Dick Nixon is still president – needs to follow James Bennett out the door.


    • Rayne says:

      upended traditions” — like unfettered abuse of women in public spaces? Yeah, fuck that tradition, along with the tradition that requires women particularly those of minority groups to be silent in the face of abuse.

      And leaders who cling to white supremacist patriarchal traditions, no matter they are 35 or 50 years senior, are not leaders. They are dinosaurs who are not yet aware their extinction is upon them.

      • Stacey says:

        This brought to mind a cartoon that ought to exist, “They are dinosaurs who are not yet aware their extinction is upon them.”

        A picture of a dinosaur munching on some vegetation, identified as Ted Yoho, with the remark “This is you”. And a large meteor coming toward the earth in the background and the remark “This is now.”

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      “If @AOC were a man, she’d be covered like a young Obama. She is a visionary politician, an inspiring orator and a sharp tactician. Instead we get, “building her own brand.” Women are invariably described with the lower-status version of their skills.”

      It is much worse than demoting the skills of women to a “lower-status.” The newspaper of record, for example, just described AOC as a shrill self-promoter and destroyer of norms. In its hands, her exemplary skills become needful things and reckless ambition. Then it normalizes the daily outrages of violent ignorant elderly white male Donald John Trump.


    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      In Jay Rosen’s analysis, the NYT is showering Ms. Ocasio-Cortez with accolades. By characterizing her as “savvy” and motivated only by personal ambition, the NYT is bestowing on her its highest award. Let’s call it, The Gingrich. It is also erasing what she and her colleagues really advocate – equality and fundamental change.

      If that’s what the NYT is doing, it has succeeded in turning gold into lead, and AOC into a young Newt Gingrich. He “upended tradition” in 1990s Washington so much that he broke it. He destroyed the daily rhythms that sustained non-partisanship and the possibility of bi-partisan agreement. He gave us today’s Republican Party.

      If Jay Rosen is correct, the NYT should stop the presses, turn off the computers, and file Chapter 11. Its intellectually bankruptcy is too painful to bear.


      • BobCon says:

        This piece quotes Rosen from 2011 talking about how useless political journalists look for these kinds of verdicts to dodge the more important question of whether someone is right.


        Of course, none of that earlier writing would touch on the tragedy of the political press’s relentless focus on the incremental political tactics regarding COVID — they have been blind to the basic reality that the GOP’s prioritization of spin and position over public health will kill 200,000 or more.

        But the inability of the political press to call out obvious sexist and racist elements of GOP practices has been awful as well, and those press failures predict what would happen with the political press’s COVID disaster.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          As you say, and tragically, the political press is ignoring far more than the racist and sexist elements of GOP practice, which probably permeate their own newsrooms.

    • Eureka says:


      Like a dull shiv dragging down the chalkboard. Possibly the single most offensive word in (what excerpts I could stand reading of) that piece of solipsistic slop — kudos to a great performance of the NYT brand.

  26. madwand says:

    Feds are practicing in Portland, re-conning by fire, flash bangs, tear gas, rubber bullets, seeing what works and doesn’t, gaining experience, hoping they get a response and then they can bring in more goons. All this for later in the year folks.

  27. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Ted Yoho is giving Matt Gaetz and Louie Gohmert a run as the dumbest guy on the face of the earth. He just had his ass handed to him by a first term Congresswoman half his age. But feeling safe during a Faux Noise interview – and following the NYT’s lead – he’s crying about it on national television. He’s also alleging that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has turned his conduct unbecoming into a fundraising opportunity. The idea that AOC might be raising awareness rather than money – but that money might follow her doing the right thing – would never enter his little head. The smaller you are, the tinnier the sound when you tip over into obscurity.


  28. Eureka says:

    Tying in to harpie above:

    …and Charles Koch is killing the Post Office…

    Yes, but not until *Bill Barr* might can use it, too, as an excuse to deploy federal forces. We’ve all been focused on how other of Trump’s flunkies will wreck it from the inside (and on the Barr-Trump mail ballot propaganda), but an old interview with Barr excerpted at Just Security* reminds that the Post Office can be first used up as an authoritarian plaything.

    From the Miller Center’s 2001 interview with Barr re 1989 federal force deployment to the Virgin Islands post-Hurricane Hugo (events which, as Just Security observes elsewhere**, Barr lies about in this, and a more recent, interview):

    Question: Did you consider interference with the mail as a basis?

    Barr: Yes, we had a whole list of things like that, interference with the mail, interference with the courts. But basically we were claiming that there was breakdown, civil unrest that was interfering with the federal function. We found these old cases that said the federal government could go in there. This was without declaring martial law.

    Given the laser dots that the cat has focused on to date, we might expect this other dot to connect, perhaps to be pulled from the pile of operational ‘choices’ as ‘needed.’

    Maybe this is even why such vast numbers of forces are projected to be used, given that Post Offices are far more numerous than other types of buildings, their services more spatially distributed.

    *Portland’s Pretext: Barr’s Long History Manipulating Law to Put Federal Forces on U.S. Streets

    **Bill Barr’s Playbook: His False Claims About Prior Military Force on U.S. Soil

    ^^ note here as well how the USVI Governor disputed the Bush admin’s claimed level of lawlessness (as well as their claim that he had requested the assistance — interesting Barr story there, too), much like various mainland city/state leaders do today.

    • harpie says:

      Thanks for picking this up, Eureka.

      For at least the last 40 years, we seem to be STUCK in some very dark version of “Groundhog Day”, always with the same malice-filled actors/directors.

  29. Stacey says:

    I live in a suburb of Portland and yeah, I can smell the BS from here on these claims that Portland is the new Fallujah. Although I understand that Poppy Bush used to refer to Portland as “Little Beirut”. Someone noted that Portland may have been chosen for, among other reasons, our police are willing and able to be as evil and abusive to protestors as any goons Trump may bring in, all by themselves. Check.

    Years ago at a protest here, I thought I was going to die under the stomping hooves of a police horse pushing what WAS the back of a crowd they wanted to move with no where to move to, as it became the front of the crowd. I fell over backwards and hoped the horse stopped before stomping on my legs inches away. Which he did and I later found out someone right behind me was very clearly filming it at close range, which could have been helpful in his decision-making process. When the legal aid attorney shows you video footage of yourself almost getting trampled by a police horse, it’s a little disconcerting. 8-/

    So, yeah, this shit is getting real, here, and it’s definitely practice for the next phase, coming soon to a city near you!

    I want to focus on the notion many commentators have mentioned on air that the camo uniforms these goons are wearing are offensive to the actual military because they are soiling them by violating the constitution while wearing the uniform of our military. I agree with that, even if I’m not convinced our military hasn’t soiled their own uniforms plenty all over the world and that Karma isn’t far away from this on all of us for ‘letting’ them, but aside from that…I would LOVE for a LARGE contingent of retired military (as it would have to be) to put on as much of their uniforms as they still have and go down there and join the moms with the same message that Navy vet so naively thought he’d give them all by himself before they broke his arm and pepper-sprayed him at point blank range. For 20 or 30 vets to just stand there with the legitimate uniforms on and I’m sure more training than these goons have and armed only with the righteousness of their numbers and their steely expressions, would be a nice sight to see!

    My husband is in the army reserves and I’m always asking him ‘what will Trump have to do before your peeps will stand up on their little hind legs and say enough already?’ But any dictator wannabe knows that when the military turns against him, he’s in his final round, and then it’s game over, and I want to see them do that earlier rather than later. I’m concerned that the military has had their ability to question their own leadership beaten out of them years ago, but perhaps retired vets can see more clearly after they’ve done a tour–or seven–in Bush’s Iraq nightmare, so that they can have the post-manifestation awareness of that experience to aid them in questioning the wisdom of their chain of command.

    I don’t see how Trump stops short of being turned back by the lack of support from the military, which he will soon be using to grab the country by the pussy! And when you’re the President, they let you do it!….until they don’t.

    • harpie says:

      This is a tweet from Christopher David, the Navy Vet who was filmed taking a beating from Federal Marshals:

      2:13 PM · Jul 22, 2020

      This a very emotional post for me. It turns out that there wasn’t just one USNA grad there that night, but two. This video was shot by Duston Obermeyer, who graduated from the Naval Academy in 2001. Please watch his video. It is very powerful. He went down to talk to the Feds for the same reason I did. He deserves just as much credit for being there as I got. Please watch.

      He and I were yelling the same question:

      “Do you remember your oath of office?”

      We were standing right next to each other, and you can here me yelling the same question in his video.

      This can’t be a coincidence. [VIDEO] and [You Tube link]

      • harpie says:

        DO all people who carry guns and awesome responsibility for OUR Government[s] [Fed, State, Local] take an oath of office?

        What about private contractors…and their bosses?

      • harpie says:

        Here is a short interview with Marine [not Navy] Veteran Duston Obermeyer from last night:

        12:54 AM · Jul 25, 2020

        Here is Marine Corps veteran Duston Obermeyer talking about the Wall of Vets.

        He mentions Chris David, a Navy veteran that went up to speak with federal officers last week and got brutally hit with a baton.

        That backstory/video here: [link]

        • J R in WV says:

          The Marines are the Army of the US Navy.

          They go to war on Navy ships, they stand guard duty on and around Navy ships. They are actually part of the Navy. Although many Marines would gripe about that fact, there it is.

          I shared a berthing compartment with the Jarheads assigned to my ship.

    • bmaz says:

      Hi Stacey, agaIn, let’s be crystal clear those people setting fires and vandalizing the Hatfield courthouse are NOT “protesters”, they are vandals and criminals that deserve to have their asses gassed and arrested. Calling them “protesters” is grotesque.

  30. harpie says:

    1] The federal police in Portland don’t even understand what ‘arrests’ are.
    The government cannot lawfully exercise its power of arrest if it doesn’t realize it is, in fact, arresting people in the first place.
    July 24, 2020 at 12:51 p.m. EDT
    [Andrew Manuel Crespo is a professor of criminal law at Harvard University.]

    2] Here is a thread by Mr. Crespo from the other day:

    8:46 PM · Jul 21, 2020

    Today on TV, the Deputy Director of the federal paramilitary force in #PDX discussed the infamous van video. He described a textbook example of an unconstitutional arrest.

    But… he doesn’t seem to know it.

    That is a BIG PROBLEM. Let’s unpack this. It’s important. (thread)
    Here (again) is the video of the van encounter. [VIDEO] [THREAD]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Ignorance of the law is no excuse, especially if you are employed to enforce it. Another thing to consider is that not all armed federal agencies even have arrest powers. Lastly, feigned ignorance is a longstanding Republican ploy. It’s illustrated by analogy with obstruction cases.

      Being found guilty of or pleading to a lesser crime, like obstruction (itself a serious felony), carries fewer penalties than being found guilty of the crime the obstruction tries to hide. (Or it narrows the list of suspects the government can reach.) So, too, ignorance or incompetence carry fewer legal and political penalties than knowingly and intentionally flouting the law. It’s a gambit, and its success depends on the higher ups being willing to perform their side of the bargain. With Trump, his not doing that is a sure bet, unless your name is Roger.

    • harpie says:

      New from Ryan Devereaux:

      10:43 AM · Jul 25, 2020

      DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis is coordinating intel gathering in Portland.

      Leaked docs show that for at least two years, the office has taken a keen interests in left-wing critics of Trump’s border policies, labeling them domestic terrorists [Intercept link]

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        “Domestic terrorists?” Funny how guys like Wolf and Cuccinelli never apply the same standards to their own conduct that they misapply to others. J. Edgar Hoover died in fifty years ago, but his spirit lives on.

  31. Jenny says:

    Insightful documentary relevant to what is happening today.

    Documentary: 13th directed by Ava DeVurney. Free on PBS for a short time.
    13TH | FULL FEATURE | Netflix
    Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay’s examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country’s history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.

    This piercing, Oscar-nominated film won Best Documentary at the Emmys, the BAFTAs and the NAACP Image Awards.


  32. CD54 says:

    @bmaz at July 24, 2020 at 6:28 am

    I want to emphasize that I agree with bmaz completely 100% with regard to defense/protection of Federal property being vandalized.

    In fact, I think that a coordinated “inner/outer ring” design with city officers manning the external defensive ring would be not just the least escalating but also the most balanced, controlled configuration possible — probably with expert professionals support.

    What I was suggesting and referring to was the Federal goon squad tactic of ROAMING/CRUISING around in an effort to promote or instigate a violent response from, not the peaceful protesters, but from the reactionary protesters — whether they are pure of heart or planted stooges recruited and deployed to facilitate/re-enforce DHS pre-textual reactionary response theater.

    In that case I would like to reiterate and amplify my description of “creative” local authority design and response.

    Ideal outcome: the Federal creeps are constrained and restricted to their supposed purpose. That would be control and protection of Federal property within the city, and would NEVER allow those Federal “contractors” to abuse and extend their purpose to include instigating or amplifying violence.

  33. harpie says:

    bmaz retweeted this comment about a photo of Brett Favre golfing with Trump:

    6:09 PM · Jul 25, 2020

    so Brett Favre still sending out dick pics smh [photo]

    [I still haven’t figured out what “smh” stands for…]

    The best response to this photo I’ve seen is from Jason Overstreet:

    12:31 AM · Jul 26, 2020

    May it be written in the end that Brett Favre won at football and played golf with Racist Donald Trump while Colin Kaepernick won at life and told Racist Donald Trump to go fuck himself.

    • harpie says:

      ooooh! “smh” = shaking my head

      now…back to lumber-jacking…ugggh!!! …
      [I keep saying this this morning…but so far it hasn’t happened…]

    • P J Evans says:

      I saw that pic. What struck me is that Trmp’s arms are so short, compared to Favre’s, even allowing for Favre being an inch or so taller. (Compare where their club-holding hands and their elbows are.)

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