4th of July Weekend Open Thread

We’re kicking off the weekend a day early, because freedom.

102 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Genghis says:

    Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeff Epstein's principal child procurer, has been indicted and arrested. In related news, Alan Dershowitz has lost all control of his bowels.

  2. skeptical citizen says:

    Add Bounty-Gate to the list of reasons that Putin may have Kompromat on our Dear Leader. 😧

  3. JohnInDenver says:

    Freedom …

    South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) confirmed this week that social distancing will not be enforced and that the approximately 7,500 attendees will not be required to wear masks at the event, even as the United States on Thursday recorded the largest single-day total of new coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

    “We will have a large event on July 3. We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home, but those who want to come and join us, we’ll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one. But we won’t be social distancing,” Noem said Monday in an interview on Fox News. “We’re asking them to come — be ready to celebrate, to enjoy the freedoms and the liberties that we have in this country.”

    All attendees will be in two main areas WITHOUT any expectation of social distancing…  Road in opens at noon, programming starts at 4:00, security access shuts at 6 pm, fireworks start at 9:15 …. so,  being around the participants for at least 4 hours and possibly up to 10. 

    Ought to be just fine … after all, people are outdoors, amIright?

    • Voyageur says:

      The outdoor venue and the masks — if worn — will reduce the risks.  But this is still grossly irresponsible.

      • Duke Cox says:

        I honestly doubt that mask-wearing will be the order of the day. These people are not right in the head.

      • JohnInDenver says:

        "grossly irresponsible" — is that the name of the band playing at the next Trump rally? 

        And I just saw this minor little detail on the official South Dakota Travel site.  Zone 2 (I think I remember hearing it is for 35-40% of ticket winners).  It sounds nice.

        Portable toilets will be available in Zone 2.

        For those assigned to Zone 2, participants could be walking up to two miles uphill to reach their viewing area.

        • spaceman65 says:

          I've been to Mt. Rushmore for the 4th.  Packed, and people are there all day (we got there around 10 am).  No way to socially distance.  Longtime duration.  Lots of asshats.  The only thing going for it is it being outdoors.  It's still a place I would avoid like, well, the plague.  


        • kwtree says:

          I see another V oldies classic parody in the making. To the tune of “Simply Irresistible

          Grossly Irresponsible 

          It should be just impossible 

          The line should be uncrossable, yeah
          You don’t think it’s plausible 

          That virus spread is cause of you

          To call it freedom when you’re killing your friends

          Grandparents, customers, where does it end..?

          Grossly irresponsible!

          Take it away, V…

          • Conserv. Head Banger says:

            Never been to South Dakota; maybe someday. But, Robert Palmer is one of my all time favorites. His Greatest Hits CD has his four great rockers; everything else is a mellow ballad.

            • JohnInDenver says:

              Black Hills on the west are nice … well worth a 3 or 4 day visit, in my opinion.  The rest — some nice spots and really nice people, but not particularly distinct.  You know things are stretched a bit thin when the "sights" are a Corn Palace, a really big concrete quail, a little house on the prairie, a museum of musical instruments, and some dams.

          • Voyageur says:

            You're doing fine, milady!

          • Gilpin Guy says:

            Now if we can get Peyton Manning to strum a few notes.

      • The realist says:

        You can look at multiple photos of the thousands attending, and have a hard time finding one mask. Congrats, Trump! Between the Mt Rushmore event and Don Jr's girlfriend you're doing a great job spreading the coronavirus.

        • Duke Cox says:

          I noticed, right off the bat, that his family wasn't there…not one of them that I could recognize. Quarantining, no doubt.

          We also were trying to spot our own Yosemite Samantha, Lauren Boebert. We thought we did, but not confidently. She was invited to meet the OD backstage. 

    • MichaelBowman says:

      He picks the best places.  Tulsa (riots), Mount Rushmore to celebrate our freedumbs, Axe Handle Saturday for the convention.  

      “He picked four presidents he thought represented major accomplishments in the American story,” said Gene A. Smith, a professor of U.S. history at Texas Christian University.

      Before he was recruited to create Mount Rushmore, Mr. Borglum had been involved with another project: an enormous bas-relief at Stone Mountain in Georgia that memorialized Confederate leaders.

      It was eventually completed without him, but Mr. Borglum formed strong bonds with leaders of the Ku Klux Klan and participated in their meetings, in part to secure funding for the Stone Mountain project. He also espoused white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideas, according to excerpts from his letters included in “Great White Fathers,” a book by the writer John Taliaferro about the history of Mount Rushmore.

      Pennington County (Mount Rushmore) is the meth capital of South Dakota…but not to worry, “They’re on it”


  4. MichaelBowman says:

    Ttumpy is hell-bent on getting the pipeline for the Alberta Tar Sands Billionaire’s Carbon Bomb in place. The last gasps of an industry built on a house of cards; a project that could be easily displaced by a thriving, domestic, advanced biofuels industry. 

    Why does Ttumpy ignore American farmers? 

    Let’s emancipate ourselves from this oily teat and get on with 21st-century projects; our equivalent of an energy Apollo Mission. 


  5. MichaelBowman says:

    Because so many slave owners were relatively obscure by today's standards, and because so much history of the African-American ancestry has been lost or deliberately obscured, these photos represent a direct connection that can be and has been independently confirmed.

    Thomas Jefferson and his sixth great-grandson:



  6. itlduso says:

    Herman Cain's new plan:  "9 – 1 – 1"  crying

  7. MichaelBowman says:

    Grab a cup of coffee and get a "Willie fix" going into the weekend! 

  8. Genghis says:

    An intern at The Federalist took the time to read the lyrics to Born in the USA and managed to figure out that it isn't some vacuous flag-waving ditty. Here's hoping she tells the other wingnuts.

    • MADCO says:

      "read" maybe

      Understand? nuh-uh

      It is  patriotic and all about an American experience.
      And the Federlist intern ripped a bunch from NPR a bunch of years back. I get it – writing it hard.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      What better way to celebrate the 4th than wrapping your Ttumpublican self up in your MAGA flag and honoring your modern party’s great red-white-blue-and-orange tradition of oblivious idiot Presidents and their great examples of reality denial?

      “America’s future rests in a thousand dreams inside our hearts,” Ronald Reagan said. “It rests in the message of hope in the songs of a man so many young Americans admire: New Jersey’s own Bruce Springsteen.”


       Ivanka Trump, 38, who has a history of saying or doing things that constantly get a ton of backlash, continued with that tradition in her latest tweet posted on Friday, July 3. “Please be safe & responsible this holiday weekend,” she began. “As we celebrate this 4th of July, follow state & local guidelines to keep you & your loved ones safe. Practice proper hygiene, social distancing & wear a mask when in close proximity to others.



  9. harrydoby says:

    Excellent read from the New York Review of Books via The Bulwark

    ‘The Most Ignorant and Unfit’: What Made America’s Worst Ever Leader?

    Acknowledging that Donald Trump is very likely the worst president American democracy has ever produced and that we, as citizens in that democracy, must accept a general responsibility for choosing such a man, is only the first, and perhaps easiest, step we can take in remedying the situation. If the worst presidents are produced by their historical moment, enabled by their parties, and reflective of deep divides and flaws in American life, simply voting them out is insufficient. We must address the root causes that enabled a man as profoundly flawed and corrupt as Trump to win high office. 

    Ending Trump’s misrule and restoring confidence in the presidency demands the undoing of impediments to free and fair elections. That will entail root-and-branch campaign finance reform, an end to voter suppression, new defenses against foreign interference in elections, and reining in the digital disinformation engines. These are perhaps only the minimum demands for restoring American democracy.

  10. kwtree says:

    Trump just said that anyone caught damaging or defacing a statue will get a minimum of 10 years in prison. Is that even possible for him to make that happen via executive order? 

    I remember a similar EO about burning flags during Vietnam War. I think SCOTUS upheld flag burning as valid protest, but don’t feel like researching it at the moment. Anyone know for sure?

    • Duke Cox says:

      No, but I think you are right. I think a state or congress would have to make that law.

      We watched our expensive, tax-payer funded Trump rally from start to finish. I don't think I will ever do that again.

    • Voyageur says:

      The executive branch has absolutely no power to create law.  That is solely a Congressional perogative.

      And, yes, SCOTUS struck down the flag burning law passed by Congress, not executive order. To his credit, Scalia wrote that opinion.

    • Genghis says:

      I think SCOTUS upheld flag burning as valid protest, but don’t feel like researching it at the moment. Anyone know for sure?

      SCOTUS twice held that flag burning was a form of expressive conduct protected by the Speech Clause of the First Amendment. In Texas v. Johnson a 5-4 majority invalidated a state law criminalizing flag desecration, and in United States v. Eichman the same majority shot down a federal criminal statute. The late, great William Brennan authored the majority opinion in each case.

      As Eichman shows, the Speech Clause won't save anyone from prosecution on a destruction of public property charge.

      Finally, Trump is an idiot. A stanky idiot.

      • harrydoby says:

        …With delusions of having dictatorial powers.  Billy Barr, as hard as he's trying, can't even keep up with feeding Trump's dreams of becoming the next Nero, or was it Caligula who was, like, the greatest Roman Imperator in all of History?

      • itlduso says:

        I'm flying my flag upside down in front of my house.  Let them try to arrest me.

  11. Voyageur says:

    We finally saw Hamilton last night on Disney streaming.  Truly awesome and perfect for the holiday weekend. 

    The Revolution continues!

    • JohnInDenver says:

      CNN had a segment highlighting #Hamilton release and the *resident's speech at Mount Rushmore.  Analyst said "the speech won't make sense except to those who have watched hundreds of hours of Fox"….

  12. JohnInDenver says:

    Boebert sketches out her campaign appeal

    Lauren Boebert for Congress (R-CO3)
    Jul 3
    Sadly, we already know the results.

    They want to keep pretending he’s a viable candidate.
    Quote Tweet
    Donald Trump Jr.
    · Jul 3
    Why isn’t the mainstream media calling for Joe Biden to release the results of his cognitive test? https://thehill.com/opinion/cam

  13. MichaelBowman says:

    I'd like to think we hit peak #MAGA yesterday in SD but I'm afraid it's just the warm-up act for what's to come between now and November: 

    • DawnPatrol says:

      Must be the same teabag crew who’ve been demanding that Washington, “Keap yer gubmint hans off’n mah Medeekair!”

      Einsteins, one and all.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        Ye is having another manic episode  


        #2020 – get a grip  



        • kwtree says:

          Only in America do we think that someone who excels in one thing (building a real estate empire, writing and performing hit rap songs) somehow will be good at governance. 

          I like this Tweet in response:


          Can’t wait to see R&R’s response on this one.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          Ah, the opportunity to have a Kardashian as First Lady….

          • Duke Cox says:

            This bullshit could not be more transparent. As I understand this, Kanye would run as an independent. If that is true, the most notable result would be to draw a few million black voters away from Biden.

            What a cynical thing to do.

            • kwtree says:

              Can Kanye even still get on the ballot? Shouldn’t he have registered to run last January? 
              I think that laws vary by state .

              I think you’re right about intent as far as the GOP is concerned- they’ll probably leave Kanye alone after some “token” protests and comparing his health unfavorably to Biden’s. 

              But as far as West is  concerned, his “run” will be pure ego, a chance to promote his own  albums and projects. He is indeed a man after Trump’s own heart, or lack thereof.

              Obama had it right in ‘09:

              • MADCO says:

                rules do vary by state

                So what's the rules in PA, MI, WI, AZ

                • kwtree says:

                  MADCO, you could just look it up by clicking on the ballotpedia link I’ve posted twice now.

                  But I’m not pissed at you today, yet, so here they are:

                  To run as an Independent, West would need:

                  PA 5000 signatures by August 3

                  MI 30,000 by July 16 (gonna miss that one)

                  WI 2,000 by August 4

                  AZ 3% of registered voters in AZ – by my calculations, about 118,000 sigs will be required by September 4

                  Some have enormous signature requirements – NY and California, for instance – but Trump wouldn’t win those states no matter what Yeezy does.

                  West could damage Biden in CA, West’s home state, though, if that’s what he wants to do.

                  North Carolina is surprisingly tough – 70,000 . Deadline was last May.

                  Texas wants 89,000. But the deadline’s passed.

                  Florida 132,000 by 7/15, so no way.

                  Colorado is only 5,000 but again, no way Trump wins Colorado even if Ye peels off some Dems.

                  So a billionaire like West could buy the signature gathering pretty easily – but that would mean taking this seriously. Just going by his music, (Rap Lite), his mercurial personality, I don’t think he’ll make a serious effort.

                  Like I said, I think he’ll use it to boost his name recognition and music / concert sales. Then fade away.



              • JohnInDenver says:

                Rules vary by state.  One analyst (who said he stepped away from a 4th of July backyard barbecue) said 9 state deadlines have already passed. 

                Ballotpedia has a list of access requirements at https://ballotpedia.org/Ballot_access_for_presidential_candidates

                That would mean a “write in” vote as the only way …

            • RepealAndReplace says:

              You mean he would be a spoiler?

              Wouldn't you rather cry voter suppression or Russian interference instead of complaining about a spoiler siphoning off votes from the Democratic nominee?

              Otherwise you risk sounding like me complaining about Jill Stein in 2016.

              • kwtree says:

                Who cares if I sound like you?  The situation is what it is…my preference is always to try to see it realistically. 

                I’d rather Kanye were not running, as I happen to agree with Duke about the probable effect of his candidacy, and why Trump won’t be seriously attacking him. 

                On the bright side, maybe West will  drop out once he realizes how difficult it’s going to be to get on the ballot in some states. Or once the publicity has had the desired effect on his fame and fortune. Or maybe Michael is right, and the #Vision2020 will dissipate with the next change in West’s brain chemistry.

                Or perhaps he’ll run as a write -in candidate and have little to no effect at all. Time will tell.

                • RepealAndReplace says:

                  My four favorite words in the English language: "I told you so."

                  This is why I kept ranting about Jill Stein. And Ralph Nader. Because it would end up happening again.

                  And here we go again, Pomps.

                  • kwtree says:

                    Fine, you enjoy that “I told you so” feeling.  As long as you also admit that voter suppression efforts are real and ongoing (for, example, claiming that mail ballots are fraudulent and instead, voters should be made to stand in lines for hours at their suddenly – diminished polling sites).

                    My opinion is that voter suppression will have a greater numerical effect than whatever Mr. West does or doesn’t do. But we’ll see.
                    And we live in a democracy. People are free to make terrible choices, including voting for unelectable third party candidates.

                    Don’t make me bring the links. 

                    • RepealAndReplace says:

                      "My opinion is that voter suppression will have a greater numerical effect than whatever Mr. West does or doesn't do."

                      The nice thing about an opinion like that is that it is based on non-quantifiable information. Can you tell me how many people do not vote because of voter suppression?

                    • kwtree says:

                      Reply to R&R: 

                      In fact, voter suppression is quantifiable. Ari Bergman of The Nation wrote:

                      While states with no change to voter identification laws witnessed an average increased turnout of +1.3% from 2012 to 2016, Wisconsin’s turnout (where voter ID laws changed to strict) dropped by -3.3%. If turnout had instead increased by the national no-change average, we estimate that over 200,000 more voters would have voted in Wisconsin in 2016.

                      In states where the voter identification laws did not change between ’12 and ’16, turnout was up +1.3%. In states where ID laws changed to non-strict (AL, NH, RI) turnout increased less, and was only up by +0.7%. In states where ID laws changed to strict (MS, VA, WI) turnout actually decreased by – 1.7%.

                      You’re just jerking my chain, presumably because you enjoy that almost as much as that glorious “I told you so” feeling. But facts is facts.

                      Kanye probably won’t even run– just keep teasing it as a PR stunt. Others will, and you’re free to be just as mad about it as you like. Shaming and scolding 3rd party voters won’t make them vote for your candidate, but it may make you feel vindicated, so go for it. 

        • Genghis says:

          Ladies and gentlemen, President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.

  14. DawnPatrol says:

    Was “Yosemite Scam” at drumpfster-fire’s poorly attended racist screed in SD last night?


    Who was that (un)masked (wo)man?

  15. MichaelBowman says:

    This is one of the most interesting historical reviews of the Founding Fathers on the interwebs today: 

    • kwtree says:

      So the exceptions were good old Ben Franklin, and the Irish-born Secretary, Charles Thomson (himself a former indentured servant, standing at the desk next to John Hancock).

      I’d like to reverse engineer that scene, and imagine those fine Founding Fathers realizing,”By God, this Document is the Offal of Cattle! Forsooth, we have Neglected to Include in our Assay of Rights those who Work Our Fields and Bear Our Progeny! We left out the Original Inhabitants from whom we copied the idea of a Government of Equal States!”

      They return to their task of drafting their snarky response to King George’s Tyranny, this time including representatives of Bondservants, Slaves, Women, Native People, and every human in North America at that time. 

      King George still is put on notice that the ‘Mericans were Over his Offal – but he now has an idea how strong those ‘Mericans really are.

      I like it as a thought experiment – how different would our country be today if only citizenship and the vote had included every human from the founding of the country. 

      • MichaelBowman says:

        This tweet (and all of its sub-threads) are an entire semester of US history! 

      • JohnInDenver says:

        At the time of the Declaration, of course, the Founders should have included everyone willing to fight against the King & his forces….

         * Crispus Attucks (of Natick and African descent) was already the first killed in the war.

         * Some Native American nations allied with the rebellious colonists, and individuals from an even wider set of nations joined, too. 

         * There were some slaves who joined with the Brits (after they were promised freedom), but one estimate says around 9,000 African Americans became Black Patriots — something like 5% of the rebel forces.

         * Founding Mothers, by Cokie Roberts is an entire book of involved women.

        What a different world if these Founders looked around and realized all of those willing to be part of a revolution, part of the "We the People" who

        hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

  16. harrydoby says:

    True to form, everything Trump touches in service to his own fragile ego turns to sh*t, leaving his financial backers holding the bag (of flaming poop)

    The abrupt uprooting of the Republican National Convention from Charlotte, N.C., to Jacksonville, Fla., has created a tangled financial predicament for party officials as they effectively try to pay for two big events instead of one.

    Tens of millions of dollars have been spent in a city that will now host little more than a GOP business meeting, and donors are wary of opening their wallets again to bankroll a Jacksonville gathering thrown into uncertainty by a surge in coronavirus cases.

    Organizers are trying to assuage vexed Republicans who collectively gave millions of dollars for a Charlotte event that mostly has been scrapped. The host committee there has spent virtually all of the $38 million it raised before the convention was moved, leaving almost nothing to return to donors or to pass on to the new host city.

    Organizers in Jacksonville are expecting — hoping — that 15,000 people attend, enough to fill the Vy-Star Veterans Memorial Arena. Still, many delegates remain noncommittal about attending, potentially diminishing the economic boost Jacksonville was counting on.

    Keep up the great work squandering Republican donor money!

  17. JohnInDenver says:

    My favorite patriotic song composed in 2020: 

    Old Crow Medicine Show: Pray for America

    When sorrows are befallen

    And shadows darken her door

    When the fever spreads and a silent scourge

    Outshines her golden shores

    When a cry for comfort reaches forth

    Like you never heard before

    Pray for America

    Our promised land

    • kwtree says:

      Great song, JiD. I’m hoping we get some celebrity ballads for Biden p, as we did for Obama in 08. Will I Am ‘s Yes We Can and Dave Stewart‘s  American Prayer come to mind.

      Biden is not that inspiring and uniting a figure, but come on celebrities. Your country calls you. At least a stirring plea to vote out Trump. 

      • Duke Cox says:

        Until they do, this might work as a GOTV theme…

        But come on, come on down Sweet Virginia
        Come on, honey child, beg you
        Come on, come on down, you got it in ya
        Got to scrape the shit right off your shoes

        I don’t think the Stones would mind.

  18. kwtree says:

    Dr. Fauci's boss at NIH, Dr. Collins,  has some semi –  hopeful news about possible covid19 vaccines – and tries to be diplomatic about the idiot child president making covid remediation into a bizarro political game.

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