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Member since: Sat Oct 16, 2004, 01:04 PM
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Wisconsin Republican governor's candidate calls for "hiring mercenaries" and "ballot harvesting"....

This story is behind a paywall, sorry:


The story is contained in this very long important thread:


very long thread: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1453099218478977026.html

Faith or Fear Thread -- 2022 in key swing states and the determination of democracy as we know it. @JoeTrippi @LincolnWatchman @ProjectLincoln @reedgalen @stuartpstevens @TheRickWilson @jefftimmer

There will be a tendency to focus on the national elections in 22, those for the House and Senate. While they are certainly critically important, there are state races that will have a far greater impact on the outcome in 2024 of our democracy's survival as we know it.

Governor and AG races in WI, MI, and PA, and to a slightly lesser extent in GA, AZ, and OH will be critically important. Without divided government to serve as a check in these states, we are headed for a disaster in 2024.

Thus, when the leading Republican candidate for governor in Wisconsin makes comments to activists like those cited today in the @journalsentinel from an event in Door Country, we should all be concerned. jsonline.com/story/news/pol…

What is striking is @RebeccaforReal appears to have known what she was saying wasn't right. She didn't want it recorded so "democrats could use it." (or in my case a former GOP) The truth is she didn't want it public because while she thinks she needs to say it for a primary, she didn't want it recorded because she realizes how damaging such a statement would be for winning the general election. A majority of people in Wisconsin are pro-democracy and pretty proud of their free and fair election tradition.

If we think of democracy as a bell curve most of our governance & politics fall either into consensus or partisan. Governance in a democracy is win-win which comes from consensus.

Elections are zero-sum partisan (only one wins) but our system ensures win-win through regular free & fair elections to create consensus through time. I consent to be governed by those I disagree with, knowing I will have the opportunity to govern in the future.

Think about big issues we have confronted in the past. Most of them were consensus-driven or partisan driven to consensus -- the Cold War, our National Debt, Judicial Nominations, Welfare Reform or the conduct of elections.

Less normal, but not outside are the occasional that are perceived as extreme but built around grievances that are real. Think Universal Suffrage, the Civil Rights Movement, the New Deal like Social Security, (I would argue the Reagan Revolution), or Marriage Equality.

Those with power deemed as extreme each of those at the outset yet all became a norm for the better (I know my friends on the left see the Reagan Revolution differently as will those on the right with parts of the New Deal- I get it).

What happens rarely when a democracy is sick, is extremism based on false or contrived grievances takes hold. Extremism derived from partisanship gone wrong. Those moments when answers to Psychological Distress take hold through Cognitively Simplistic answers.

This is when Overconfidence in one group's contrived grievances and the simplistic solutions accepted as truths manifest in Intolerance. The more of this radicalization you see the more terminal the state of a democracy's health.

A credible candidate for Governor of a state calling for mercenaries to help get elected is such a state of radicalization. It can lead to the next state of violence. In fact, we have already seen that happen which is what makes such pronouncements so dangerous.

Our Democracy depends not only on the documents upon which we are founded but equally on political norms by which we conduct body politic. Today, those norms are failing. The choice of Cognitively Simplistic answers by irresponsible politicians leads to radicalization & violence

The 2022 elections will matter more than any since the period prior to the Civil War. They will be the next most important after 2024. Yet, if we don't get them right by creating consequences for those pushing towards the abyss of radicalization in 22, 2024 may be predetermined.

This reality, more important than policies or partisanship, must be the litmus test by which each of us makes our choices on the federal level, but equally on the state & local levels. You can't have the coalition without the insanity. Both ways is no longer an option..

eta: There are more images and graphs at the original thread, sorry too lazy to copy and paste all of them.

Professional film set armorer gives her general take on the Baldwin tragedy

A lot of people are messaging me about yesterday's tragedy that was an on-set firearms death (because I am a film armorer, for those who don't know).

As both a human and a professional, it is extremely upsetting. My thoughts are with Halyna Hutchins' loved ones


Very long thread, at: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1451797888158375937.html

A lot of people are messaging me about yesterday's tragedy that was an on-set firearms death (because I am a film armorer, for those who don't know).

As both a human and a professional, it is extremely upsetting. My thoughts are with Halyna Hutchins' loved ones

I am not going to share backchannel rumors or speculation I'm hearing but I will answer a few things about movies and guns that people are asking (thread)

One is: "how are there not safety measures to prevent this?" The answer is: There are. There are very, very many
Qualified armorers have many, many safety precautions and redundancies.

Honestly I keep trying to come up with a scenario where it's possible for this to happen under standard gun safety procedures on film sets and I am so horribly stumped

(and horrified that I am stumped because it means this was likely so bad, and the failures here likely so unfathomably huge and many)

Our procedures plan in mistakes, actor error, etc. There should never be any single fail point; if anyone makes a mistake there are many multiple other things backing up the safety

Safety is always #1. Nothing can compromise it. There are other parts of the job (e.g. helping the director get the shots they want) but nothing can ever interfere with safety

In fact even in helping the director get their shots -- it's all about advising them on ways to do it SAFELY that will still look cool and get the effect they want.

I would tell directors "no" all the time (and provide them with a safe alternative).

I can think of so many things I would do on every film set as standard, any *one* of which would have prevented something like this.

We plan for that redundancy, we plan for things to go wrong and for actors to mess up

Of course, I am talking as -- I would hope to say -- a good armorer. These are all things me and my colleagues do as standard.

Yes there are a handful of bad armorers out there... and production companies also cut corners and that's getting worse

What I mean by that is that they will hire someone unqualified for cheap, or they will try to do gunfire without any qualified person on the set, and production will allow it...

...and other people on the crew who should put a stop to it (like the 1st AD (= 1st Assistant Director), who is the final word on safety) do not shut it down...

Or the 1st AD etc may not have the experience to shut it down if production cut too many corners and has, for example, a green 1st AD for cheap also. This is devastating and I suspect has played into other non-firearms film set tragedies

There are positions where it is very, very important to have qualified people for safety reasons. 1st AD. Armorer, SFX, rigging, stunts. You need people who know exactly what they're doing.

Now I do not know what happened here. But I want to convey to you, as someone who has worked firearms on probably hundreds of film sets, that this is both deeply, deeply upsetting and also deeply shocking

A tragedy happening in *this particular* way defies everything I know about how we treat guns on film sets. It implies to me that something was likely very, very wrong here.

My colleagues and I have been trying to figure out how this could happen when following our basic safety procedures and we keep ending at a loss. We keep ending at "but how is that possible?"

Which implies something even more appalling -- that very basic, very standard safety procedures may not have been followed. And that nobody shut the production down when they weren't.

My heart is breaking to imagine this

Second thing people are asking. "Was this a real gun? why are real guns on set? how could a prop gun fire?"

The media reports are muddling things a bit here so I don't blame people for being confused.

First of all, blank guns are real guns. Semi-autos are what we call "blank adapted" but that is purely for the *function* of the gun, not for safety (a projectile could still exit). Revolvers, shotguns, etc we use unmodified

In other words, you can take a revolver from a movie set and load live ammo into it. (We sometimes have demilled props and other variations but blank fire would almost always be real guns)

So it's very very important to know what is being loaded into the gun. It's also very important to know when a gun IS loaded at all

Our safety procedures are built around this

No one on a film set should ever have any question in their mind about what's going on with the guns. When I am keying a set I am very, very clear on everything to everybody at all times

When we say a "prop gun" on a film set we mean a rubber or a replica that does not fire. We do not mean a blank firing gun. We call blank fire guns real guns because as I said, they are real.

Sometimes real guns are used "cold" (unloaded) if either there's no matching prop gun or if they want a closeup (the props are usually not as nice looking in detail), but for wide shots props are fine

Actors can feel & see that a prop is not something that can fire. Also props can be thrown/dropped without damaging the firearm. So lots of reasons to use rubbers/replicas where you can

Real guns are always -- always -- in my possession unless they're being used for a scene, in which case I'm right there watching. We treat real guns very seriously whether they're loaded or not

If we're using the real guns, cold (unloaded) guns are always used outside of gunfire scenes. If the ammo has to be visible we use dummies. These are *always* carefully checked.

Dummies are visibly different from live ammo in that the primer in the back is punched. You can also "click through" by pulling the trigger pointed at the ground to show that they do not fire.

When I am using a cold gun or a cold gun with dummies in it, I am VERY clear with the cast and crew about it. I physically open and show that the weapon is cold to the actors, the crew

That's at minimum. Comfort levels differ -- I worked with one cinematographer who wanted to be shown every few minutes that the gun was still cold because he was right next to the actor, even though the gun hadn't left his sight. No problem. I showed him every single take

This is part of the job. Nobody should EVER feel their safety is being compromised on a film set. I always considered it part of my job -- and an important part of my job -- to make sure people felt safe

Of course *being* safe is #1. But no one should ever have to doubt that that's true. So making sure to communicate with everyone on the set so they *know* they are in fact safe is also important

Before going "hot" for a gunfire scene, we always choreograph & rehearse everything carefully with the director, crew, actors, stunt people

Everyone needs to know exactly what they're doing before any guns are loaded. Where they're standing, where they're moving, where they're aiming.

If anything violates one of our safety redundancies, we change it. If anyone's uncomfortable, we figure out another way.
When we "go hot" that means we are loading the guns with blanks and doing blank gunfire. Everyone is very, very clear on this. Very loud notifications, announced and repeated, announced over radio and very loud on set.

It is treated very seriously.

We only load the exact amount of blank ammunition needed for the scene. We only have hot guns on set for exactly the amount of time it takes to film the gunfire

I am always right there watching the scene extremely closely and making sure the actors and stunt people are exactly where they should be, doing exactly what they should be

And yes, actors screw up sometimes. Miss their mark, or turn the wrong way, etc. That's why we have so many redundant safety protocols.

No one's life or safety should *ever* depend solely on the actor hitting their mark correctly.

Gunfire scenes are usually very, very short. Sometimes only a few seconds. Very often less than a minute. Remember, films are cut together from lots of shots.

We only go hot for the specific shots that have guns firing in them -- not any of the adjacent ones.

As soon as the scene is over, we go in and clear the guns. Nobody moves on until we finish. The set is still hot -- the guns are still considered hot, even if (since we only loaded what they're supposed to fire) they fired all the blanks.

We clear the guns and announce them clear and then it's announced and re-announced over the set and over the radio -- we announce it, 1st AD announces it, PAs pick up & repeat. Again, it's very important that everyone on set knows the status of the guns. No guessing games

Only after the guns are announced clear does everything start moving on. At least, this is the way it *should* work on a properly-run set. This is certainly how it works on my sets.

Are there sets that are improperly run? Yes. There shouldn't be, but there are. I don't think there are many -- it's why tragedies like this are thankfully rare. It would honestly be a shock for me to step onto a film set and have to fight for these procedures to be followed

In general I arrive expecting that this will be everyone else's expectations / procedures as well.

Most importantly, I expect people to always listen to / respect me on all of the safety protocols (if not, I would walk away and take the guns with me)

And if proper gun safety is not being followed? If the armorer or propmaster is endangering people?

For immediate safety purposes, in that case there are other people who *should* step in to shut things down

The 1st AD / production stepping in and shutting things down is what we would want/expect to happen if things aren't being run safely, and it's another thing that has to fail for things to go really, really bad.

Experienced 1st ADs absolutely know how gunfire scenes should work. They know how to run them in conjunction with an armorer. They know if proper safety is being followed.

(You never, ever want to lack a good 1st AD. This is only one of many reasons.)

(In fact there are rumors that other (non-gun) tragedies happened because the 1st AD was not allowed to do their job in re: safety & walked off set.)

It is so, so important for all these safety-related positions to hire qualified, experienced people and then to listen to them.
Next question I see -- "how could blanks hurt someone? Do blanks still spit out paper or another projectile? What was a film gun doing firing live ammo???"

The last question is one of mine as well (if that's what happened, which I've seen rumored but not confirmed). Live ammo should never, ever, ever be mixed in on a film set.

There are live ammo shows like Top Shot and they have entirely different safety protocols. If live ammo was mixed in on this set that is unfathomably bad. It is a tremendous problem and not even slightly understandable or okay.

But yes, blanks are still dangerous. Except for shotguns I always used "crimped" blanks -- that is, no wad (nothing coming out of the gun)

Some blanks do have paper wads & are more dangerous bc that is a projectile. I would not use those for films. So in that case, no projectile
But even without that, the air becomes concussive. What is coming out of the gun is air, concussion, powder, flame.

The concussive force dissipates at 15 feet or so for small caliber rounds

We have different size blanks as well -- full load, half load, quarter load (referring to the amount of gunpowder)

There are logistics / permitting / aesthetic / functional / safety reasons that go into load size choice. Not all firearms work with any load size, permitting can be specific to load size, etc. The tl;dr is that there are various considerations that go into this question.

Finally, yes, if there is anything stuck in the gun and a blank is put behind it -- yes, that stuck thing can become a projectile, functioning like a bullet

That's why one of the things we always do every single time is check the guns all the way down the barrel.

That's also why one of the basic safety protocols is that blank firing guns are never pointed directly at someone else -- not at other actors, not at crew

I will emphasize -- I *never* set up actors aiming at a person. Even though blanks dissipate at 15ft -- no. We don't do it. Even though if everything went as expected it would be fine -- no.

There are *plenty* of camera angles to make it look like guns are pointed where they're not.

And if the camera crew wants to film from near the line of fire we can also barrier by putting up lexan or the like as an additional safety protocol

(Remember also that that's still redundant with other safety -- we're not ever doing something like firing live ammo at a camera operator and trusting lexan to save them -- DEFINITELY not)

So that's blanks -- yes they are dangerous, yes we plan for that, yes we check the guns *always*.

NO there should never be live ammo mixed in (!). NO blanks should never be fired directly at another person even from a "safe" distance.

I meant to add more questions I've seen to this but this has gotten very long already, and it is very late and I am very tired and heartsick about this. I may try to come back later if people find this helpful (I hope people do)

Just know that there is a *lot* of misinformation going around right now on how movie guns work. Please do not take anything you see on Twitter at face value. (A lot of media articles are getting some industry things factually wrong too.)

And please know that when very basic, very standard safety protocols for movie gun safety are followed, this sequence of events is not something we expect to be possible. Not ever, not even rarely.

So it's very important that we find out what happened here and why.

More crazy Marjorie Taylor Greene: Trying to impeach Pres. Biden over Hunter Biden


Anything to get on Fox, Newsmax and OANN.

Texas GOP: Marriage equality not valid in Texas, despite Obergefell v. Hodges

Marriage equality is the law of the land — except in Texas, argues the state GOP.

Legislative leaders in TX issued an opinion stating legalized gay marriage shouldn’t be permitted in the Lone Star State because they feel state law trumps the SCOTUS ruling in Obergefell v Hodges.



Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644 (2015) (/ˈoʊbərɡəfɛl/ OH-bər-gə-fel), is a landmark civil rights case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 5–4 ruling requires all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the Insular Areas to perform and recognize the marriages of same-sex couples on the same terms and conditions as the marriages of opposite-sex couples, with all the accompanying rights and responsibilities.[2][3]

Roll call vote of every representative on Bannon contempt referral vote on October 21, 2021

https://clerk.house.gov/evs/2021/roll329.xml (opens just fine in a regular web browser like Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox, Opera, etc)

220 Democrats voted in favor (100% of we Democrats)
9 Republicans voted in favor (4% of voting Republicans)

0 Democrats voted against (0% of we Democrats)
202 Republicans voted against (95% of Republicans)

1 Republican did not vote for some reason ( Greg Pence from 6th District of Indiana, no idea if he is related to ex-VP Pence. ETA: As noted in the thread, he is the brother of ex-VP Pence.)

Totals: 220 Democrats voted. 211 Republicans voted. One Republican (see above) did not vote.

I wonder why this Pence guy did not vote. Cowardice or another reason ?

100% of Democrats in favor of regular House functioning and democracy. Only 4% of Republicans in favor of regular House functioning and democracy. Pretty easy to see which party is the PRO-democracy party.

VA Lt. Gov. candidate (R-homophobic) agrees with undercover reporter about "gay agenda"

Whoa. Trumper Glenn Youngkin's running mate for Lt. Gov of Virginia just revealed her hatred for the LGBTQ community, agreeing that the 'gay agenda' is destroying our society. Make sure everyone sees this.


Her name is Winsome Sears, per https://ballotpedia.org/Virginia_lieutenant_gubernatorial_election,_2021

Washington Post story: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/winsome-sears-virginia-lieutenant-governor/2021/10/15/002d1004-26b9-11ec-8831-a31e7b3de188_story.html

Trump's latest grift: "social network" called "Truth Social"

Trump’s launching a social network called “TRUTH Social,” via @JenniferJJacobs.


fyi, I looked on JenniferJJacobs twitter feed for more info and could not find it yet. I will look elsewhere.

eta: This Liz Harrington *might* work for Trump.


The Lincoln Project's Rick Wilson: Help Me Help You, Why Democrats Don't See the Dangers In the....

What is TLP ? https://lincolnproject.us/we-are-republicans-and-we-want-trump-defeated/

To summarize, yes, Wilson WAS one of the "bad guys" (Republican strategist and ad guy) but he is on our side now, the pro-democracy side.

Help Me Help You
Why Democrats Don’t See the Dangers In the Virginia Governor’s Race and the 1/6 Commission

Help Me Help You


Democrats aren’t fully vested in killing off the next generation of Trumpist candidates. They seem blind to the dangers posed by the coming wave of Republican candidates who aren’t burdened with Trump’s cognitive and moral deficits, and who use shiny corporate and Ivy League credentials to camouflage their full adoption of the GOP’s radical nationalist authoritarianism.


I desperately want the Committee and the Democrats to get their act in gear and understand that they’re not in a small-ball political fight; it’s a choice between an aggressive, hard-edged defense of democracy, or accepting the end of our nation as we know it. The people who executed the plan to overthrow America’s democracy aren’t done fighting to destroy this country…not by a long shot.

Letting raging normalcy bias dominate their political and strategic thinking won’t just be electorally deadly for the Democrats but also the nation. The people who want to overthrow American democracy for a shiny new authoritarian nationalism know this.

It’s time Democrats did too.

I really hope Wilson and the other TLP people are wrong, but they used to work in the belly of the beast. They know these idiots.

DeSantis has failed to call special elections for 3 Florida legislative seats

ICYMI: 3 Florida state legislative seats have been vacant for 2+ months. Voters have sued FL Gov. DeSantis (R) for failing to call special elections, asking the court to ensure new representatives are elected in time for the January legislative session.


What do you know ? They are all DEMOCRATIC districts.


WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of Florida voters against Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for his failure to call three special elections to fill vacancies in three majority-Black legislative districts. In line with Florida’s “resign-to-run” law, three legislators — Rep. Bobby DuBose (D), Rep. Omari Hardy (D) and Sen. Perry Thurston (D) — filed resignation letters over 75 days ago in order to run for the open congressional seat left by Congressman Alcee Hastings’ (D) death in April. Despite the fact that the 2022 legislative session is fast approaching, DeSantis has not yet announced any special elections to fill these seats. The complaint asks the court to order the Governor to set special primary and general elections to fill these vacancies before the next legislative session so that the voters of these districts can have adequate representation in the Florida Legislature.

The complaint outlines Florida’s history of quickly calling special elections to fill congressional and legislative vacancies, pointing out that, for 65 vacancies that occured “between 1999 and 2020, it took, on average, 7.6 days for the Governor to call a special election after the vacancy arose.” However, DeSantis has waited over 75 days to call special elections for the three open legislative seats — all located in majority-Black districts — despite the fact that the 2022 legislative session begins on Jan. 11. The complaint asserts that DeSantis is bound by Florida law to set special elections for vacant seats and, if he fails to carry out this duty “very soon, Petitioners will go without the representation to which they are entitled in the 2022 Legislative Session.” The complaint highlights that DeSantis also waited a longer-than-normal amount of time to call a special election for Hastings’ seat, also located in a majority-black district. 30 days after Hastings’ death — and only after a lawsuit was brought against him — DeSantis set a special election for Hastings’ former seat, causing the three legislators to resign and leading to the vacant seats at issue in this lawsuit.

Trump shows usual lack of humanity and class, savages Colin Powell after death


eta: better image of the grift button

Yes, I know some here strongly dislike Powell. I'm more of the "let the body be buried/cremated and wait" school. The orange asshole just wants attention and, of course, don't forget the huge DONATE button at the bottom of that message. Can't forget the grift.
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