Tuesday Open Thread

“When the severity of the law is to be softened, let pity, not bribes, be the motive.”

–Miguel de Cervantes

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Duke Cox says:

    Let’s start here.

    American fascism has arrived, and the danger is real — but it’s not too late to defeat it

    Trump’s form of fascism may not look like earlier models — but it’s the real thing and it’s happening right now

    Trump’s lack of personal restraint, combined with his complete inability to understand or respect democratic institutions, along with his obvious sociopathy and admiration for overseas villains like Vladimir Putin and Rodrigo Duterte, were always destined to fuse at the cellular level in harrowing ways, especially if he were tested by a national or global calamity. 

    And here we are. In the past several weeks, as the coronavirus death toll draws close to 150,000 while demonstrators take to the streets, the other shoe has officially dropped, exposing Donald Trump as the first American fascist to occupy the White House. I don’t write this lightly or colloquially: Trump is our first fascist president, and the people who continue to enable him, be they his staff or his accomplices at OAN or Fox News or on Capitol Hill, ought to be viewed as sympathizers to his version of strongman ultranationalism.


    This is worth reading for its cheekiness alone. The message though, is deadly serious.

    • kickshot says:

      "first fascist president"

      that's good branding that even dump would enjoy.

      Maybe we can get him to adopt it.

      Say it three times.

      Let's hear Biden say it three times.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      I'd agree to the description of Trump as a wanna-be authoritarian & dictator.  Somehow, he reached a point of believing the Presidency was unitary executive, limited only in a general sense by Congress and the Courts. 

      My take is he is too ill-informed, lazy, or incompetent to be an effective fascist.  He's never gotten around to incorporating control of corporations.  He's not eliminated or co-opted the competing areas of power and control of industry, finance, nonprofits, the military, or a great deal of the government's bureaucracy.  He's accepted whatever support those groups have offered — but there is no consolidation into a nationalistic whole.

      • Duke Cox says:

        I accept the point about the Orange Kings’ ineptitude, but I take little comfort there. It will be the motivations and skills of his enablers and lieutenants that count when push comes to shove.

        Expect the worst from Navarro, Miller, Pence, DeVos, Barr, McConnell, etc. Yeah…collectively they are far more dangerous than the OD himself. He is soulless and depraved, yes…and greed and resentment drive his OrangeHorde.

        What will it take, John? He should never have gotten this far. I agree he has not co-opted the military, but he is working on it. John Roberts seems to be going rogue enough to have visibly upset the donors, but is hardly a safe harbor. What events will trigger your “oops!” alarm?


        • MADCO says:

          enablers and lieutenants

          including the less than qualified but ideologically approved judges

        • JohnInDenver says:

          My "bright line" on fascism (and other forms of authoritarianism) has been when a government takes over mass communication media, establishes effective control of public discourse, and even reaches down to punish and reward personal expression. 

          Classic fascism — developed in the hot house of post-WWI Italy — was nationalist, corporatist, and controlled the press, radio, and films.  Il Duce was able to co-opt industry and finance by promising to facilitate their ability to function in the world.  He was able to pull in the Church by urging piety and participation by Italians, making relatively small donations to church projects, and reinforcing the prejudices of the day.  He won military support by promising to build it up to be an effective force.  He controlled the courts by forcing some out, bringing some in, and acting without regard to any judicial restraint on his powers.  For a number of years, he was actually able to control the state.

  2. Voyageur says:

    Ninety eight days until Trump's fall.

    That's cause for cheer, we think.

    Live this day in a loving way,

    Then ninety seven days will end the stink!

  3. ParkHill says:

    WOTD: Life imitates The Onion.

    A Houston doctor who praises hydroxychloroquine and says that face masks aren’t necessary to stop transmission of the highly contagious coronavirus has become a star on the right-wing internet, garnering tens of millions of views on Facebook on Monday alone. Donald Trump Jr. declared the video of Stella Immanuel a “must watch,” while Donald Trump himself retweeted the video.

    Before Trump and his supporters embrace Immanuel’s medical expertise, though, they should consider other medical claims Immanuel has made—including those about alien DNA and the physical effects of having sex with witches and demons in your dreams. 

    Immanuel, a pediatrician and a religious minister, has a history of making bizarre claims about medical topics and other issues. She has often claimed that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches. 

    This raises several questions that maybe we shouldn't have answered:
    (1) Did she do a double blind study on children – half getting hydroxyqluoroquine, the other half a placebo?
    (2) How does this pediatrician know that her patients are having dreams about sex with demons?
    (3) What is the medically approved treatment for ovarian cysts caused by having sex with demons in your dreams.
    (4) Name the names: Who are the reptilians in government?
    (5) Is it demons or daemons?
    (6) Why is she not from Florida?

    Meanwhile I'm waiting with baited breath (demon worms?):

    Immanuel responded in her own way, declaring that Jesus Christ would destroy Facebook’s servers if her videos weren’t restored to the platform. 

  4. Duke Cox says:


    ‘Ships don’t feed hungry children’: Democrats blast weapons spending in Senate GOP stimulus

    The $1 trillion GOP package, released last night, includes billions for the Pentagon to buy more fighters, ships and combat vehicles, among other assets.



    in contrast:

    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."  — Dwight Eisenhower.

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