Wednesday's HOT MIC: Terror Attack in Michigan?

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What the heck ever happened to Black Lives Matter? Buzzfeed has a real thumb sucker on "the movement" and why it isn't as prominent anymore.

A few excerpts:

Here, in the hills of Tennessee, the activists would come together for a meeting of groups involved in the Movement for Black Lives, an umbrella group of organizations that want the same things, and devise a plan to address the new president, the shock of his election, the law and order he had promised during the campaign, and the devastating blow it all had delivered to generational movements about race and criminal justice policy in the United States. They would devise a plan — like the heroes of the civil rights movement once had decades before.

That good feeling didn’t last long. Few people want to talk about exactly what went wrong — how exactly the meeting devolved. But one problem, according to people who attended or were briefed on the meeting, was pretty simple: The ideas weren’t that good.


Many chafed at the tenet, repeated by the press, that Black Lives Matter was free from hierarchy and instead began to question the existence of tight control exercised by a small group of activists. “The hierarchy was clearer than ever, even though folks are sure there isn’t one on the outside,” said one person briefed on the meeting. For months during the campaign last year, key progressives had watched Black Lives Matter and kept wondering two things many activists on the inside were starting to wonder themselves: What is the movement’s strategy? What is the end goal?

Nobody resolved the structural issues at Highlander. There was no one big plan.


In response to mounting opioid overdoses, President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions seem intent on reigniting the war on drugs, which put into motion many of the elements, like heavily armed police and mandatory sentences, that sparked Black Lives Matter and a larger generational response. It’s an uncertain time in America, and many of the avenues once open to the movement — such as a president sensitive to the moral authority of young black activists — have closed. This is a new moment, with different challenges.


Some activists believe that while the internal conflicts are indeed real, they are no different from what other long-lasting groups faced, and they do not portend the movement’s end. Discord and disagreement are part of the natural evolution of all political movements. In her statement to BuzzFeed News, Matthews noted that “it’s healthy for people building movements not always to agree, and while we don’t always get along, what keeps us going through this hard work together is our shared desire for justice.”

I must have missed a similar piece in Buzzfeed or elsewhere about the demise of Occupy Wall Street. Remember when the media was positively swooning over OWS? The New York Times had a daily update on what the ne'er do wells were doing. The coverage was extensive and loving.

Occupy Wall Street died because there was no there, there. There was no coherence - just incoherent rage. If you want to know what happened to Black Lives Matter, look no farther than the delegitimizing riots and actual cheering of the death of police officers.

Nobody cares what your agenda is when you act like barbarians.



Time to buy a vowel: 


Cruel, but fair?

House Dems Rip Pelosi: ‘You’d Have to Be An Idiot’ to Think Dems Could Win With Her as Leader

That's from Mediaite, running with a Politico piece headlined, "Pelosi faces growing doubts among Dems after Georgia loss." The subhead soothes readers with the reminder that "There's a lot of grumbling by rank-and-file members, but no leadership change is imminent."

WaPo's Aaron Blake gives the anti-Pelosi spin another twist with "Democrats’ persistent Pelosi problem.". And The Hill reports that Democrat congressional candidate Joe Cunningham has joined the pile on, tweeting "The Democratic Party needs new leadership now. If elected, I will not vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker."

Even at Slate they're forced to admit that Pelosi is "extremely unpopular."

I can't think of any Democrat with the guts or the votes (or the fundraising prowess) to topple Pelosi. But if today's drumbeat makes anything clear, it's that if the Democrats aren't ready to show Pelosi the door, they wouldn't mind too much if she found her own way out.

Democrats are 4 for 4 in "moral victories."

More Georgia 6 gloating, this time from the National Republican Congressional Committee, one of the groups that backed the victor, Karen Handel.

"This is sobering for Democrats. ... It's pretty depressing. ... This is going to be a demoralizing blow for them." Scathing.

POTUS primes the 2020 pump and works the youth vote:

Laughing My Ossoff.

Democrats tried to frame the Georgia 6 special election as a referendum on Trump. They insisted that they could win. They poured $30 million into the race, making it the most expensive in history.

Poor liberals. This is a psychological — and embarrassing — blow.


CIA contractors were fired after stealing more than $3,000 in snacks from vending machines. Good old Buzzfeed has the story.

The thefts took place starting in the fall of 2012 and continued through March 2013, according to a declassified Office of Inspector General report from October 2013. The report is one of hundreds only recently released to BuzzFeed News through a Freedom Of Information Act lawsuit filed in 2015.

The "theft scheme" involved unplugging a cable connecting the machines to an electronic payment system called FreedomPay, and then using "unfunded FreedomPay cards" to buy the snacks at no cost.

After thefts were reported, the CIA installed some cameras, and caught the perpetrators.

An unidentified number of other contract employees, one of whom was caught on camera, were identified as suspects. They quickly admitted to the thefts. All then surrendered their CIA badges, were escorted from the building by security, and were fired by their respective contract employers.

The workers were estimated to have stolen $3,314.40 worth of goods from the vending machines.

The OIG referred the matter to the US Attorney's Office for prosecution, but the Department of Justice declined to press charges.

It's good that these people were fired, but that's rather impressive. A whopping $3,314.40 worth of goods stolen from vending machines. You thought 2017 couldn't get any weirder.

Rick, on the story about a knife attacker who shouted Allahu Akbar --

Do they have any idea of a motive?

A possible terror attack at an airport near Flint, Michigan, as a policeman was stabbed by a man who reportedly screamed "Allahu Akbar" during the attack.


An officer for Bishop International Airport was stabbed Wednesday in a possible terror-related incident in Flint, Michigan, sources told NBC News.

The attacker allegedly shouted "Allahu akbar" before stabbing Lieutenant Jeff Neville, who was bleeding from the neck, sources and witnesses at Bishop International Airport said.

Neville is a member of the airport's Department of Public Safety and a retired Genesee County Sheriff’s Department lieutenant.

Law enforcement officials said the suspect is from Quebec and has a Canadian passport.

I'm sure the PJM team will be reporting on this story as the day goes on.

There's been a shake-up in the line of succession in Saudi Arabia that may have significant consequences for the U.S.

King Salman has dumped his nephew as crown prince and made his son, Mohammed bin Salman, first in line to succeed him.


Despite his youth, Mohammed bin Salman has long had a visible role in the government, and has spearheaded the kingdom's attempts to wean itself off oil as part of an economic strategy announced last year.

Key reform policies currently in place -- such as the Vision 2030 plan and a planned IPO by Saudi oil giant Aramco -- were already being driven by him.

As defense minister, he has overseen the Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen's Houthi rebels, which has caused the deaths of thousands of civilians since 2015 and left the country spiraling towards "total social, economic and institutional collapse," according to the United Nations.

The consolidation of power, which was more rapid than expected, gives allies a clear indication of who will potentially lead the kingdom for decades.

It may also send a signal to other regional powers about Saudi Arabia's foreign policy aims at a time of heightened tensions in the Middle East.

When and if "MBS," as he is know, succeeds his father, he will be the first Saudi king who is not the son of the country's founder King Abdul Aziz Al Saud, also known as Ibn Saud.

There has been speculation for years as to the future line of succession, with the throne moving between the increasingly aged sons of Ibn Saud.

By elevating his own son first to deputy crown prince, and now crown prince, King Salman appears to have cut off other branches of the family from the throne.

So why should we care if an aging, filthy rich, religious fanatic of an autocrat replaces one dissolute member of his family with another?

Mohammed bin Salman is the architect of the Saudis' more assertive foreign policy. The kingdom was always a cautious player in the region, despite spending hundreds of billions of petro dollars on the best weapons money could buy from the west.

Now, the Saudis not only find themselves engaged in a grinding war in Yemen, but are also aggressively funding several jihadist militias in Syria. That some of those militias are as hostile to the U.S. as they are to President Assad doesn't seem to concern him.

As a counterweight to the Iranians, Saudi Arabia will become increasingly important to the U.S. as Tehran rearms and grows bolder in throwing its weight around the region. Mohammed bin Salman may be the best choice to work with the west to contain Iranian ambitions.