Mine Furor’s jackbooted lawyers at the Justice Department are trying to quash the judicial order restraining them from targeting the press. Their argument?

Federal officials responding to the long-running protests in Portland are asking that a court order protecting journalists be lifted on the grounds that some of those engaged in violence are masquerading as members of the press.

(Still say the Federal courthouse represents “everything essential to our system of justice”, Billy J. Williams?)

I can’t speak to the violence part, but protester Brandon Pappe for sure was doing this, openly admitting to Sergio Olmos that it was to avoid getting targeted by police when protesting.

People like Pappe are cowards and assholes, who believe they have the right to protest and demonstrate without any risk to themselves, and have endangered the working press — even if Pappe since has stopped.

It goes without saying (well, no, it can’t go without saying) that the TRO should remain in place and in force, especially with the feds compiling “intelligence reports” on members of the press.

John Stoehr with some blunt truths in the face of people like George Will, Charlie Sykes, or Mona Charen [See comments.] who say a Biden victory would end the “national nightmare”.

I don’t see how the “long national nightmare” will be over when 40-43 percent of the country, for the last three and half years and more, has consistently and unwaveringly supported the president’s words and deeds, no matter how despicable they are, or saw loyal opposition from the Democratic Party as so dangerous they abandoned their previous claims to the union. These people want a president to kidnap kids from their immigrant moms. They want a president to banish Muslims. They want a president to privilege white orthodox Christianity. They want a president to punish Black people and LGBTQ people for being who they are. They want a president to deploy secret police to crush dissent. And they hate their “enemies” so much they are willing to overlook a president’s treason. These people will still be here after Election Day.

The reason why people like George Will want America to think the nightmare ends with a Biden victory is they don’t want us engaged in a de facto truth and reconciliation(?) process over the Republican Party’s four-decade enablement of the politics that lead to a Donald Trump.

The “reasonable” punditry is going to be flogging this line for an entire Biden presidency, if we get one.

Mine Furor is both seeing how far people will let him talk about election delays without pushback and distracting from the astonishing but unsurprising economic contraction. We have to juggle more things than we have hands. That’s what juggling is.

The economy’s stunning contraction in the April-June quarter came as the viral outbreak pushed already struggling businesses to close for a second time in many parts of the country, sending unemployment surging to nearly 15%. The government’s estimate Thursday of the second-quarter fall in the gross domestic product was the sharpest such drop on records dating to 1947. The previous worst quarterly contraction, a 10% drop, occurred in 1958 during the Eisenhower administration.

Don’t get your news from The Spectator, whose Kate Andrews thinks, “Today on Twitter, Trump began to hint at the one thing his critics fear most deeply: a refusal to leave office.” This is true except in the sense that it is false because of all the other, many times he has hinted about not leaving office. If you can’t even get the factual context right, why should I listen to any other part of your argument?

Tired of people saying “it’s just a distraction” as if it can’t be both a distraction from one thing and an actual thing itself. “It’s a just distraction” is a numbing agent for people who don’t want to face that nothing is a distraction; we actually need to deal with all of it.

Federal authorities are arresting protesters on minor charges and then telling them “they can’t protest anymore as a condition for release from jail”. Is this blatant violation of Constitutional rights what Billy J. Williams meant when he complained that protesters simply didn’t understand that the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse “is the solution not the problem” and “absolutely represents everything essential to our system of justice”?

It could not be learned who drafted the orders barring the protesters from joining further demonstrations. The documents reviewed by ProPublica were signed by a federal magistrate in Portland. Magistrates have broad authority to set the terms of release for anyone accused of a crime. They typically receive recommendations from U.S. Pretrial Services, an arm of the U.S. Courts, which can gather input from prosecutors and others involved in the case. ProPublica identified several instances in which the protest ban was added to the conditions of release document when it was drafted, before it was given to the judge. It remained unclear whether the limits on protesting were initiated by Justice Department officials or the magistrates hearing the cases.

Lois Beckett for The Guardian on what the data says about the antifa threat (via Lesley McLam).

A new database of nearly 900 politically motivated attacks and plots in the United States since 1994 includes just one attack staged by an anti-fascist that led to fatalities. In that case, the single person killed was the perpetrator.

Over the same time period, American white supremacists and other rightwing extremists have carried out attacks that left at least 329 victims dead, according to the database.

Emphasis added.

Conrad Wilson and Jonathan Levinson have a pretty good look at the internal and external tensions — or, let’s say, the differences of opinion — around the various approaches, strategies, and tactics of two months of Portland protests. They talk to a number of Black activists and voices on the ground, and its great primer for understanding the dynamics of this particular debate.

In the crowd that night was Byrd, a middle aged Black woman who has been attending protests at the Justice Center since they started. Among other events bringing people to the street, she said the federal law enforcement officers’ actions have made people scared that their fundamental right to protest is in jeopardy. The hand wringing over white people in the protest misses the bigger point, she said.

“You’re either for human rights or you aren’t,” Byrd said. “We can’t concede the point that now there’s an energy that is bent toward racial justice for Black people. And that’s the focus.”

They also report that Mine Furor is increasing the numbers of paramilitary shock troops in Portland, which makes Ed Pilkington’s unsettling profile of Customs and Border Protection generally — and Bortac specifically — just that much more unsettling (via Andy Baio).

As news circulated of demonstrators being shot in the face with “less lethal” munitions, and of unidentified masked agents in camouflage strong-arming civilians into unmarked vans, the nightmare scenario Tomsheck had heard expressed by his bosses almost a decade ago – of border patrol becoming a nationwide militarized force operating outside constitutional constraints – was becoming real.

“Border patrol has always seen itself as a militarized force, and that aspiration is now being enabled by the current administration,” Tomsheck told the Guardian.

It’s unnerving to see in Pilkington’s piece that discussions of CBP in fact are beginning to refer to “the interior”; recall David A. Graham’s recent depiction of Trump effectively trying to cobble together a de facto Interior Ministry.

Maxine Bernstein’s bizarre puffery about what it’s like for Mine Furor’s paramilitary shock troops inside the Federal courthouse sets a new standard for literal puffery with this paragraph.

The federal officers needed to wait them out. One deputy marshal joked that most people until now didn’t have a clue who they are or what they do and that when he says he works for the Marshals Service, people sometimes look at him and ask, “marshmallow?”

For the record, Marshmallows are fans of Veronica Mars, not wannabe Interior Ministry troops for Trump’s improvisational fascism.

Timothy Snyder, discussing further parallels between Mine Furor and other figures more readily accepted as having been, you know, fascists, offers an example of fascist priorities.

Consider what would have happened had the president expressed as much concern for people in February and March as for statues in June and July. There was no call earlier this year for haste, for sudden action, for interagency cooperation, for an expansion of the role of the federal government to defeat a pandemic. On the contrary: The states were told to deal with the coronavirus themselves, and individuals were left to sort through the confusion and contradictions of statements from the White House. But when statues are threatened, then, it seems, exceptional action is called for. What if all the men (and, yes, they are nearly always men) swinging batons now had been passing out masks a few months ago?

It’s a really simple idea but, to be honest, I needed to hear Masha Gessen, of all people, on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee reminding us that there are people in autocracies around the world who simply don’t have the opportunity we still have before us.

We have this amazing chance to just vote the motherfucker out of office. It is still possible. It’s almost miraculous, you know? Other people living in autocracies have no hope of being able to use their voice and their vote to change their lives fundamentally — and we still have that option. If enough of us show up at the polls or mail in our ballots, we’re going to get rid of him, and we’re going to have a chance at reinventing this country.