Where I live it already feels like the long weekend has begun. Even yesterday, there was very little traffic in my town. I welcome the peace and quiet. I had a very lazy day yesterday, and today is feeling pretty lazy too. I started another mystery and I’m thinking about doing some TV binge watching over the weekend. I hope there won’t be a whole lot of horrible news for the next four-and-a-half days.
Today, I’m seeing tons of negative stories about Donald Trump. I can’t figure out if the man is just plain stupid or cognitively impaired. It’s obvious he’s a malignant narcissist, as Dakinikat has repeatedly pointed out. But we’ve also discussed the possibility that Trump could be suffering from some kind of dementia–after all, his father had Alzheimer’s disease. Anyway here are a few interesting links on Trump’s latest fiascos.
When Donald Trump said last Thursday he was forgiving over $45 million in personal loans he made to his campaign, the announcement drew plenty of coverage. Many even reported Trump’s statement as if the deal was done.
But it’s not.
A week later, NBC News has learned the FEC has posted no record of Trump converting his loans to donations. The Trump Campaign has also declined requests to share the legal paperwork required to execute the transaction, though they suggest it has been submitted.
Last week, campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks said Trump was submitting formal paperwork forgiving the loan on Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Reached by NBC this week, she said the paperwork “will be filed with the next regularly scheduled FEC report,” and declined to provide any documentation.
The delay could matter, because until Trump formally forgives the loans, he maintains the legal option to use new donations to reimburse himself. (He can do so until August, under federal law.)
Henri Matisse working in bed, with cat
Trump is either a real cheapskate or he can’t spare that money. This is reminiscent of the time he lied about having given $1 million to veterans groups and only coughed up the money when the Washington Post called him out.
At Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach resort he runs as a club for paying guests and celebrities, Donald Trump had a telephone console installed in his bedroom that acted like a switchboard, connecting to every phone extension on the estate, according to six former workers. Several of them said he used that console to eavesdrop on calls involving staff.
Trump’s spokeswoman Hope Hicks responded to written questions with one sentence: “This is totally and completely untrue.”
The managing director of Mar-a-Lago, Bernd Lembcke, did not respond to emails. Reached by phone, he said he referred the email query to Trump’s headquarters and said, “I have no knowledge of what you wrote.” ….
BuzzFeed News spoke with six former employees familiar with the phone system at the estate.
Four of them — speaking on condition of anonymity because they signed nondisclosure agreements — said that Trump listened in on phone calls at the club during the mid-2000s. They did not know if he eavesdropped more recently.
They said he listened in on calls between club employees or, in some cases, between staff and guests. None of them knew of Trump eavesdropping on guests or members talking on private calls with people who were not employees of Mar-a-Lago. They also said that Trump could eavesdrop only on calls made on the club’s landlines and not on calls made from guests’ cell phones.
Each of these four sources said they personally saw the telephone console, which some referred to as a switchboard, in Trump’s bedroom.
More at the link. Maybe Trump could have spent his time more fruitfully by reading a book or two.
Steve Martin with cat
Chris Cillizza has done a public service by reprinting an interview with Donald Trump on the Bill O’Reilly Show: Donald Trump’s Bill O’Reilly interview is an instant classic. I hope you’ll read the whole thing, because it clearly demonstrates that Trump is a complete idiot. This is my favorite part (emphasis added):
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESUMPTIVE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I am determined to say look, you may not vote for me, Trump supporters, I get that because you really are upset about immigration or you are upset about trade or you are upset about, you know, the feeling that the jobs that you had that gave you a good living are gone. So, I’m very sympathetic to that. I am not sympathetic to the xenophobia, the misogyny, the homophobia, the Islamophobia and all of the other.
Sort of dog whistles that Trump uses to create that fervor among a lot of his supporters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O’REILLY: Okay. That was about 45 seconds to be fair. We will give Mr. Trump the same amount of time to reply. Go.
TRUMP: All of the phobias that nobody even knows what she is talking about to be honest with you. Why doesn’t she say it like it is? I mean, it’s just ridiculous. And frankly, you know, she knows exactly what’s happening. She sees what’s happening. People are tired. They are losing their jobs. Their jobs are being taken away. Companies are moving to Mexico. I mean, just moving. They just pick up and move. You look at what went on with carrier. You look at Ford. You look at so many different. They are a mile long and we are losing our jobs.
We are losing everything in this country. We are losing our spirit. I was in Ohio. I was in Pennsylvania. Yesterday I was in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. And I want to tell you, the lines of people that we have, they are so sick and tired of hearing things like what she is just saying. Nobody even knows what she is talking about. And you tell me, that’s presidential? She is presidential? Sitting there. I don’t think so.
Poor Donald. He just doesn’t understand all those multi-syllable words, and he assumes no one else does either.
Melania decided she would order the flowers herself. Donald was too busy now anyway to call Alessandra’s as usual and ask for “something amazing.” Once, in the early years, before she fully understood him, she had asked what his favorite flowers were.
“I use the best florists in the city, they’re terrific,” he replied, and she realized that taste, for him, was something to be determined by somebody else, and then flaunted.
At first, she wished he would not keep asking their guests, “How do you like these great flowers?” and that he would not be so nakedly in need of their praise, but now she felt a small tug of annoyance if a guest did not gush as Donald expected. The florists were indeed good, their peonies delicate as tissue, even if a little boring, and the interior decorators Donald had brought in — all the top guys used them, he said — were good, too, even if all that gold yellowness bordered on staleness, and so she did not disagree because Donald disliked dissent, and he only wanted the best for them, and she had what she really needed, this luxurious peace. But today, she would order herself. It was her dinner party to celebrate her parents’ anniversary. Unusual orchids, maybe. Her mother loved uncommon things.
Her Pilates instructor, Janelle, would arrive in half an hour. She had just enough time to order the flowers and complete her morning skin routine. She would use a different florist, she decided, where Donald did not have an account, and pay by herself. Donald might like that; he always liked the small efforts she made. Do the little things, don’t ask for big things and he will give them to you, her mother advised her, after she first met Donald. She gently patted three different serums on her face and then, with her fingertips, applied an eye cream and sunscreen.
Truman Capote with cat
What a bright morning. Summer sunlight raised her spirits. And Tiffany was leaving today. It felt good. The girl had been staying for the past week, and came and went, mostly staying out of her way. Still, it felt good. Yesterday she had taken Tiffany to lunch, so that she could tell Donald that she had taken Tiffany to lunch.
“She adores all my kids, it’s amazing,” Donald once told a reporter — he was happily blind to the strangeness in the air whenever she was with his children.
Read the rest at the link. The Times plans to publish another short story about the 2016 campaign by a different author. I supposed that one will be a very vicious piece about the Clinton family. Maybe they can get Maureen Dowd to write it.
Former London mayor Boris Johnson, favorite to become Britain’s prime minister, abruptly pulled out of the race on Thursday, upending the contest less than a week after leading the campaign to take the country out of the EU.
Johnson’s announcement, to audible gasps from a roomful of journalists and supporters, was the biggest political surprise since Prime Minister David Cameron quit on Friday, the morning after losing the referendum on British membership in the bloc.
Drew Barrymore with cat
It makes Theresa May, the interior minister who backed remaining in the European Union, the new favorite to succeed Cameron.
May, a party stalwart seen as a steady hand, announced her own candidacy earlier on Thursday, promising to deliver the withdrawal from the EU voters had demanded, despite having campaigned for the other side.
“Brexit means Brexit,” she told a news conference.
“The campaign was fought, the vote was held, turnout was high and the public gave their verdict. There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door and no second referendum.”
The decision to quit the EU has cost Britain its top credit rating, pushed the pound to its lowest level since the mid-1980s and wiped a record $3 trillion off global shares. EU leaders are scrambling to prevent further unraveling of a bloc that helped guarantee peace in post-war Europe.
It has been a while since we took a look at the offerings of political cartoonist, so I thought today would be a good day for that…and in all honesty, there is another reason, things have been moving quickly with my parent’s closing (it is now pushed to the 6th) so there is plenty to do. (But it is a good plenty…)
First I will start with this video from UNICEF, posted on Huffington Post Facebook page,
Some of you may have seen this…if you haven’t please take the few minutes to watch it in full.
Pro-choice advocates won a huge victory on Monday when the Supreme Court struck down two major anti-abortion laws in Texas inWhole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Those laws, part of an omnibus anti-abortion bill called HB 2, were responsible for closing about half of all abortion clinics in Texas.
Before HB 2 passed in 2013, Texas had 41 open clinics. Today there are 19. If the Court had ruled to uphold the restrictions, that number would have shrunk to nine. So it’s no surprise that lead plaintiff Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO and founder of Whole Woman’s Health, said she was “beyond elated” by the ruling.
But, Hagstrom Miller said in a recent interview with Vox, a victory at the Supreme Court is really just the beginning for abortion providers in Texas. Not only are other restrictions, like a 20-week abortion ban and limits on medication abortion, still in place in Texas but HB 2 has also done lasting damage to abortion access that could take years to repair, if it can be repaired at all.
It turns out, according to the Vox report…
The closed clinics can’t just reopen overnight, and some might never reopen
Well, I realized that they would not reopen with a snap of the fingers, but that some may never reopen, that just is salt in wounds.
From Texas to Alabama to Wisconsin, more than a dozen Republican-run states in recent years have passed laws requiring that abortion clinics have hospital-grade facilities or use doctors with admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
Now, Monday’s Supreme Court ruling — that those provisions in a Texas law do not protect women’s health and place an undue burden on a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion — will quickly reverberate across the country.
It will prevent the threatened shutdown of clinics in some states, especially in the Deep South, that have been operating in a legal limbo, with Texas-style laws on temporary hold. But legal experts said the effect over time was likely to be wider, potentially giving momentum to dozens of legal challenges, including to laws that restrict abortions with medication or ban certain surgical methods.
“The ruling deals a crushing blow to this most recent wave of state efforts to shut off access to abortion through hyper-regulation,” said Suzanne B. Goldberg, the director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School.
Adopting stringent regulations on abortion clinics and doctors that are said to be about protecting women’s health has been one of the anti-abortion movement’s most successful efforts, imposing large expenses on some clinics, forcing others to close and making it harder for women in some regions to obtain abortions. Republicans like Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who deplored Monday’s ruling, argued that they were requiring clinics to “be held to the same standards as other medical facilities.”
Now, the court has ruled that any such requirements must be based on convincing medical evidence that the rules are solving a real health issue to be weighed by a court, not by ideologically driven legislators — and that the benefits must outweigh the burdens imposed on women’s constitutional right to an abortion.
Take a look at that article, because it highlights a few states that currently have abortion laws going into effect on July 1st…which could now be seen in a different light since the Monday ruling.
Scientists from the German Primate Center wanted to know how age affected the behavior of more than 100 Barbary macaques kept in an enclosure in a park in France.
They investigated how the monkeys – whose ages ranged from 4 to 29 years (equivalent to 105 human years) – reacted to physical objects such as novel toys and tubes with food, social interactions such as fighting and grooming “friends” and new social information, such as calls and photos of “friends” and “strangers.”
Researchers discovered that the interest of Barbary macaques in toys wane when they become adults. At around 20 or the retirement age of monkeys, these animals approached fewer monkeys and had less social contact.
What surprised scientists is that this obvious withdrawal was not prompted by a social affinity to avoid old monkeys. Younger ones still groomed and approached their elders.
It also wasn’t because older monkeys were not interested in anything at all. Scientists found that older monkeys still hissed to others during fights and still responded to photos of others.
These older monkeys are still attuned to what is going on around them, but they do not want to participate, says Julia Fischer, one of the researchers of the study.
They hissed? Could this be a monkey’s way of saying, get off my lawn?
The dominant psychological theory that could explain why this behavior happens in humans is that they want to maximize the time they have left with death on the horizon.
Fischer says although monkeys have excellent memories, there is no evidence that they are self-aware about their impending deaths. So if both monkeys and humans act this way as they age, the theory may be rationalizing a natural behavior with biological roots, she says.
Alexandra Freund, Fischer’s co-researcher, says the findings of the study clearly tell us that we are not distinctive in how we grow into old age.
“There might be an evolutionary ‘deep’ root in this pattern,” says Freund.
There is a bit more at the link, along with some other sources and connections to the published study.
My mom just called me to find out why MSNBC is hyping the Republicans’ Benghazi! report. I’m not watching; but I guess we can just assume that the so-called “liberal” cable channel is going to continue rooting against Hillary even if it means electing a completely unqualified, ignorant racist who hates the media and wants to take away press freedoms. Ugh.
Even The New York Times admits the report contains nothing new, even though they fail to note until way down in the story that the “committee report” released today comes only from the Republican members. They didn’t even let their Democratic colleagues read it. The Democrats on the committee released their report yesterday. Here’s a quick read on what’s in the report.
After two years and $7 million, Republicans on the House Benghazi Committee have released their long-awaited report on the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi — a report that concludes then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not directly at fault for the events that led to the death of four American citizens.
The report did slam the Obama administration for its handling of the aftermath of the attacks, citing a combination of bureaucratic inefficiency, personal error and willful ignorance of intelligence for the bungled response. But the committee’s findings do not directly indict Clinton for the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, or found that she willfully ignored calls for security, charges that Republicans have continuously leveled at her.
In fact, the report barely focuses on Clinton at all, but rather reveals a more comprehensive timeline of events based on interviews with eyewitnesses and senior intelligence officials.
Among the revelations in the Committee’s 800-page report is that the CIA missed real-time intelligence about the situation on the ground that led the agency to bungle its response to the violent protests that led to the deaths of Americans at the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi. The government then misled the public about what had happened in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.
“It is not clear what additional intelligence would have satisfied either [State Department aide Patrick] Kennedy or the Secretary in understanding the Benghazi mission compound was at risk — short of an attack,” the report says.
There’s not much new in that article either, but you can check it out for yourself.
Protesters wave Mexican flags and signs on the road leading into Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, Scotland, June 25, 2016. (Reuters Photo)
Hillary Clinton has reestablished her advantage over Donald Trump on dealing with terrorism following the candidates’ very different reactions to the nation’s largest-ever mass shooting in Orlando, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
By a 50-to-39 percent margin, more say they trust Clinton than Trump to handle terrorism — similar to her 54-40 edge in March but wider than her narrow three-point edge in May after Trump became the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee….
The latest shift stands in stark contrast to political impact of the last major terrorist attacks that colored U.S. politics. After the Paris and San Bernardino attacks in late 2015, Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims entering the U.S. received wide support among fellow Republicans, and it helped bolster his support heading into the GOP nomination contest.
The latest poll numbers, of course, show how the larger electorate feels about Trump’s handling of foreign policy and terrorism — not just GOP voters. And it’s yet another bad sign for Trump’s presidential aspirations come November.
Clinton isn’t the only Democrat to get a boost. President Obama’s approval for handling terrorism went from 45 percent in June to 50 percent this month, ending a stretch of underwater ratings (more disapproval than approval) since early 2015. After the Paris attacks, Obama’s approval mark on the issue dropped to a record-low 40 percent.
Read the details and check out the charts at the WaPo.
Trump has finally started sending out fundraising emails, and apparently he isn’t aware that he can’t accept donations from foreign nationals. He sent emails to Scottish MP’s last week asking them to donate. One recipient wrote a response.
McGarry, who is the MP for Glasgow East, wrote a sharp reply to the Presidential hopeful’s son, and shared her response with her 15,000 Twitter followers.
In her letter she wrote: “Quite why you think it appropriate to write emails to UK parliamentarians with a begging bowl for your father’s repugnant campaign is completely beyond me.
“Given his rhetoric on migrants, refugees and immigration, it seems quite extraordinary that he would be asking foreign nationals for money; especially people who view his dangerous divisiveness with horror.
“The US elections are a matter for the American people, but I do send my warm hope that they reject your father fundamentally at the ballot box.”
She added: “The thought of his reactionary type of politics and apparent ignorance of world affairs having access to a seat at the world table is both surreal, and terrifying.
“The above is a long way to say No, and do not contact me again.”
There’s a campaign dynamic now coming into view which under other circumstances might only be a matter of trash talk or taunt. In this unique campaign cycle, it will likely be a driving issue. Put simply, as Donald Trump’s poll numbers continue to fall – or more likely become more anchored in a position with him clearly behind – he is himself being lowered onto his own personal kryptonite: Loserdom.
One charge, one taunt, one attack will rile and unhinge Donald Trump more than any other. That he’s a loser. At the moment, the facts leave little question on this point.
In the Trumpian world of pure alpha dominance no failure or state of existence is more total, hopeless, unmanning or unbearable. He is now living there, in public, each day, for all to see, even helpfully enumerated on most days in new poll numbers. A brittle narcissistic ego, coddled for decades by armies of yes men and a generally fawning business and tabloid press, won’t hold up well under that kind of strain.
Losing is always hard. Few of us have ever been candidates for public office. But we all know this from our own lives. But it is uniquely hard for Trump’s campaign because the campaign’s entire premise is “winning” and on a slightly less literal level on what I’ve called dominance politics. Losing is hard for any campaign both emotionally for all involved but also because losing is demoralizing and can trigger a self-perpetuating cycle. But most campaign’s have issue agendas, goals that provide an emotional and aspirational ballast to the effort. You may be losing but that doesn’t invalidate what you believe or the substance of your proposed policies. That’s not true for Trump because “winning” isn’t just the goal it’s the raison d’etre and premise of the whole effort. A candidacy based on “winning” which is in fact losing and perhaps losing badly isn’t just on the ropes; it begins to look ridiculous.
The Democratic primary wasn’t rigged — despite the best efforts of Bernie Sanders’s staffers in Nevada. On Monday, CBS News published a postmortem on the Vermont senator’s campaign, which includes this anecdote about how Sanders’s Silver State director Joan Kato prepared her team for caucus day:
At one point shortly before the caucuses, she instructed staff to buy double-sided coins — in case coin-flips were needed to decide any of the caucuses in the event of a tie, according to staffers.
All that yelling about Hillary being “corrupt” was just projection.
And how are things going for Hillary? Great! Here’s Ruby Cramer on Clinton’s joint appearance with Elizabeth Warren in Cincinnati yesterday: Elizabeth Warren Finally Opens Her Arms To Hillary Clinton. Cramer notes that two years ago when these two famous women campaigned on the same stage in Massachusetts for then candidate for Governor Martha Coakley, Warren “barely mentioned Clinton.” But now it’s different between them.
Two years later, the 2016 election has forged a vastly different Clinton–Warren alliance.
Here on Monday, beneath the painted dome of the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, they emerged for their first joint appearance, unveiling a powerful new partnership aimed at Donald Trump, with none of the old distance and unease.
The pair arrived together, Clinton leading the way onto a circular platform in the middle of the hall. Around the stage, 2,600 crowded into the historic atrium. Warren threw out both hands, palms to the ceiling, as if in awe of the scene around her.
Clinton motioned Warren toward the podium, then stood near the back of the stage and took a breath. “Woo!” she mouthed. Over the sound of the crowd, Warren leaned into the microphone with the same surprised look: “Whoa!” she said. Thank you!”
“I’m here today because I’m with her. Yes, her!”
Later, as Clinton spoke, Warren stood to the side and listened intently, reacting to each line along with the voters below. To a mention of infrastructure investment, Warren nodded fiercely and let out a “yes!” To a promise of student loan relief, she jumped up and down on her toes. To a dig at corporations, she pumped her fist in the air. And when the candidate led the crowd into one of her favorite lines — about playing the “woman’s card” — Warren chanted along on cue: “Deal me in!”
More than most of the campaign’s surrogates on the trail, Warren took the stage for Clinton with a distinct mission, taking a high-energy and unapologetic approach to the job of attack dog, with a speech that complemented Clinton’s, not simply introduced it.
Well you probably saw the speech–if you didn’t please be sure to watch it. And read much more about it at the Buzzfeed link.
Bernie Sanders could have done what Warren has done. He probably could have been another good attack dog against Trump. But he chose a different path, and now it’s too late. I really hope he doesn’t campaign for Hillary, and I couldn’t care less if he endorses her. His followers have mostly jumped on her bandwagon, and those who are still wallowing in self-pity won’t be needed. I dread the thought of Bernie campaigning at this point, because I’m convinced he would only find underhanded ways to damage her. I just hope he continues to fade from public view.
What stories are you following today? Please share your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a terrific Tuesday!
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Hope you’re not going to get tired of me posting Nina Simone songs because I just had to do it again. I woke up and feel optimistic for a nice change. I would like to say that my life is on the up and up but this is much less specific than that. I feel better about being a woman in the USA and that’s a big deal.
Two really great SCOTUS decisions came down today that protect women’s right to choose and the victims of domestic abuse who are overwhelmingly women and children. The Supremes have thrown out the Texas Trap Law and refused to water down gun bans for domestic abusers. Then, there was some campaign excitement! Senator Elizabeth Warren tore up the stage with a Donald Burning and an enthusiastic Hillary support speech in Cincinnati. Women on the Supreme Court made a huge difference! Can you imagine the difference a woman President may make?
It felt as if, for the first time in history, the gender playing field at the high court was finally leveled, and as a consequence the court’s female justices were emboldened to just ignore the rules. Time limits were flouted to such a degree that Chief Justice John Roberts pretty much gave up enforcing them. I counted two instances in which Roberts tried to get advocates to wrap up as Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor simply blew past him with more questions. There was something wonderful and symbolic about Roberts losing almost complete control over the court’s indignant women, who are just not inclined to play nice anymore.
The case involves a crucial constitutional challenge to two provisions in Texas’ HB 2, the state’s omnibus abortion bill from 2013. The first requires doctors to obtain admitting privileges from a hospital 30 miles from the clinic where they perform abortions; the second requires abortion clinics to be elaborately retrofitted to comply with building regulations that would make them “ambulatory surgical centers.” If these provisions go into full effect, Texas would see a 75 percent reduction in the number of clinics serving 5.4 million women of childbearing age. The constitutional question is whether having 10 clinics to serve all these women, including many who would live 200 miles away from the nearest facility, represents an “undue burden” on the right to abortion deemed impermissible after the Casey decision. Each of the female justices takes a whacking stick to the very notion that abortion—one of the safest procedures on record—requires rural women to haul ass across land masses larger than the whole state of California in order to take a pill, in the presence of a doctor, in a surgical theater.
The morning starts with an arcane and technical debate that eats up most of Stephanie Toti’s time. Toti, arguing on behalf on the Texas clinics, first has to answer an argument—raised by Ginsburg—that the clinics were precluded from even bringing some of their claims. Between this and factual challenges from Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito as to whether there was any evidence on the record to show that the law itself triggered the closings of Texas clinics, she doesn’t have much time to get to the merits. So frustrated is Justice Elena Kagan by the conservatives’ repeated insistence that perhaps the clinics just coincidentally all closed within days of HB 2’s passage that she finally has to intervene. “Is it right,” she asks Toti, “that in the two-week period that the ASC requirement was in effect, that over a dozen facilities shut their doors, and then when that was stayed, when that was lifted, they reopened again immediately?” Toti agrees. “It’s almost like the perfect controlled experiment,” continues Kagan, “as to the effect of the law, isn’t it? It’s like you put the law into effect, 12 clinics closed. You take the law out of effect, they reopen?”
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down Texas abortion restrictions that have been widely duplicated in other states, a resounding win for abortion rights advocates in the court’s most important consideration of the controversial issue in 25 years.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy joined the court’s liberals in the 5 to 3 decision, which said Texas’s arguments that the clinic restrictions were to protect women’s health were cover for making it more difficult to obtain an abortion.
The challenged Texas provisions required doctors who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and said that clinics must meet hospital-like standards of surgical centers.
Similar restrictions have been passed in other states, and officials say they protect patients. But the court’s majority sided with abortion providers and medical associations who said the rules are unnecessary and so expensive or hard to satisfy that they force clinics to close.
In a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that reckless domestic assaults can be considered misdemeanor crimes to restrict gun ownership. The decision comes as a major victory for women’s rights and domestic violence advocacy groups.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday against a Maine resident who argued he should not have been stripped of his ability to possess a firearm despite a prior domestic violence charge in state court.
Stephen Voisine pled guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in 2004 against a girlfriend. Five years later, he was investigated for shooting a bald eagle and as part of the investigation he turned over a firearm to authorities.
After reviewing his criminal record, Voisine was then charged with unlawful possession of a firearm pursuant to a federal law which makes it unlawful for a person who has been convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” to possess a firearm or ammunition.
Lawyers for Voisine argued that his misdemeanor offense did not rise to the level to trigger the federal law.
The justices agreed to take the case to interpret the reach of a federal statute. But Justice Clarence Thomas during oral arguments was also interested in the 2nd Amendment implications, breaking in to ask a series of questions for the first time in 10 years during oral arguments.
The three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Voisine and another defendant, holding that the “question before us is a narrow one.”
Congress recognized that “guns and domestic violence are a lethal combination,” the panel said.
Is it really possible that we may see a woman President and Vice President next year? The rally in Cincinnati this morning with Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren held out that tantalizing option.
BB caught me in bed with a cup of coffee this morning. Turn on the TV! There they were and there it was. No more Texas Trap Laws! Two Powerful women thrashing a Republican Bully while the world and Cincinnati cheered them on! It’s a new day! It’s a new dawn! Warren definitely put the B in the Trump Burn. She was amazing and you could see that Hillary loved every minute of it.
Donald Trump is “a small, insecure money-grubber who fights for no one but himself,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said Monday morning at the Cincinnati’s Union Terminal, as the possible vice presidential candidate lit up the crowd in her first appearance with Hillary Clinton.
“What kind of a man?” Warren said of the presumptive GOP nominee, with whom she has had drawn out Twitter battles. “A nasty man who will never become president of the United States, because Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States.”
Warren, who is popular with many progressives who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the primary, lobbed attacks at Trump as she stood below the terminal lobby’s large mosaic of of iron-workers, railroad men and farmers. Clinton stood beside her, grinning and clapping.
The joint appearance, and Warren’s enthusiasm for attacking Trump, added to speculation about her likelihood of receiving the nod to join Clinton as the vice presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket. Clinton and her supporters have touted Warren’s endorsement as the former first lady seeks to unite Democrats after a long primary battle with Sanders.
At Union Terminal, Warren punctuated her criticisms of Trump and praise of Clinton by raising her fist and shouting “Yes!” Drawing applause and supportive laughter, Warren turned and clapped wildly for Clinton, then joined the crowd in shouts of “Hillary! Hillary!” and a “Woo!”
“Donald Trump thinks poor, sad little Wall Street brokers need to be free to defraud everyone they want,” said Warren, known for her anti-Wall Street stances. “Hillary fights for us.”
“You know I could do this all day. I really could,” Warren said of attacking Trump. “But I won’t. OK, one more.”
“You just saw why she is considered so terrific, so formidable, because she tells it like it is,” Clinton said of Warren. “I just love how she gets under Donald Trump’s skin.”
Hillary Clinton after being introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren at a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk
Warren and Clinton both share a desire to do everything they can to “stop Donald Trump” from becoming president, and, according to a campaign aide, they will both warn of the risks Trump would have on the economy during their event today, according to HASKELL and KREUTZ. “The Republicans underestimated and underestimated and underestimated Donald Trump. Look where that got them. They kept saying, no, no, no, that’s not going to happen, we don’t have to worry about that,” Warren said when she endorsed Clinton. “Donald Trump is a genuine threat to this country. He is a threat economically to this country. But he is a threat to who we are as a people. There is an ugly side to Donald Trump that we all have to stop and think about what’s going on here.” As Clinton and Warren’s relationship continues to evolve and Warren’s stock grows as a possible choice for vice president, it appears the senator is diving head first into helping elect Clinton. She even stopped by Clinton’s Brooklyn presidential campaign headquarters 10 days ago to give staffers a pep talk telling them “Don’t screw this up.”
They didn’t screw it up. It was marvelous, darlin’!
So, there’s some good news!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
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There is the sound of thunder in the distance, I can tell because my bedroom is dark Much darker than it usually is this time of day. I lay here under the covers like I do every day disillusioned and thoughts fill my head.
Unlike that thunderstorm which I cannot see, I have a visual facsimile of one on my wall…an image of a summer thunderstorm building in the center of a beautiful blue sky. It is the large puzzle that I did quite a while ago of the street scene in Cuba, with a woman selling flowers and a little band playing in the background… serenading her as she crosses the street. It is hanging on my wall in my bedroom and if you will bear with me a moment, it will not take much longer for me to finish this thought.
I look at that puzzle every day. I lay on my bed daily and stare at it. When the light is off the shapes of the puzzle pieces disappear and become still. There is just a hint of texture which makes the puzzle come alive, almost becoming a full representation of the street, so as I could reach out and touch it. The lady’s dress moves as she walks and you can almost see the clouds building with the heat.
But when the ceiling light is shining bright against it, each puzzle piece is accentuated in the puzzle and it becomes fully distorted…yet you can still see the image behind the distortion. The face of the woman is no longer beautiful, she is twisted. When reflections of the light shine on her dress, her body is in shapes that although unnatural I still feel drawn to look at. I can see the clouds of the thunderstorm behind the capital building of Havana. They are even more threatening with their menacing darkness combined with the haphazardness of the shapes of the puzzle pieces, it’s as if the clouds are building up a storm but did not know which way to go…yet it was forced into its direction by the puzzle pieces. It is not fluid, it is unnatural. It is a force that has been predetermined not something that was allowed to develop and grow on it’s own accord.
Wait there it is much lower and softer than it was minutes before…I hear a low thunder. It is a slight sound barely audible, as if it is crying out the last gasping. The storm must be fading, it hadn’t even had a chance to develop big and strong.
I must write the post for today so I look one last time lady crosses the street and I go downstairs and turn the computer.
So, here are your links today.
Like Boston Boomer, I am easily distracted…but since abstract puzzle pieces get my attention…and not mystery books…the links are in a lean dump fashion.
Italy’s second most sought-after fugitive, a convicted ‘ndrangheta crime syndicate boss feared as a “merciless killer,” was captured Sunday as he slept in his bed in a hideout in the rugged Calabrian mountains, police and prosecutors said.
Ernesto Fazzalari “went from his sleep to the handcuffs of the Carabinieri” paramilitary police after 20 years on the run, Col. Lorenzo Falferi told reporters in the city of Reggio Calabria.
Reggio Calabria Prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho described Fazzalari as “a merciless killer” and a protagonist of the 1991-1992 turf feud between ‘ndrangheta clans that bloodied the Taurianova town area of Calabria in the “toe” of the Italian boot-shaped peninsula. In one macabre episode in the feud, a victim’s head was tossed in the air and shot as a target.
Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” is that rare Broadway offering – a jukebox musical with a soul.
The touring production, which opened Friday at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, reveals the reason this show has become the “Jersey Boys” for the XX chromosome set.
Borrowing the tried-and-true biographical formula of scrappy artists working their way to fame, the musical extracts all the nostalgic glory out of a catalog of hits few Baby Boomers will be able to resist.
At the same time, the center of storytelling gravity is decidedly female, making this show as rich in poignant emotion as it is in Broadway pizzazz. There’s psychology for those who want it and era-defining tunes for those who’d rather escape into the memory of a simpler, if not necessarily more enlightened, American era.
“Beautiful” sketches Carole King’s rise from precocious Brooklyn songwriter in the late 1950s through her powerhouse collaborations with husband Gerry Goffin in the 1960s to the liberated solo career catapulted by “Tapestry” in 1971 after her marriage failed.
Douglas McGrath’s book capitalizes on those introspective qualities King’s later music gave unforgettable voice to – tenderness, self-doubt, and wisdom hard won from disappointment. But this is as much about a generation of artists as it is about one extraordinarily gifted woman.
Last link for this Sunday:
Saturday Night at the Movies: Lazy hazy crazy: Top 10 summer idyll movies By Dennis Hartley
Since this is the first official weekend of summer, I thought it would be a good excuse to cull a list of my 10 seasonal favorites for your consideration. These would be films that I feel capture the essence of those “lazy, hazy, crazy” days; stories infused with the sights, the sounds…the smells, of summer. So, here you go…as per usual, in alphabetical order:
The reason I include this link is for the first movie on the list…
Claire’s Knee- This 1970 offering is “part five” of a six-film cycle by the late French director Eric Rohmer known collectively as “ Six Moral Tales ” (each individual entry works fine as a stand-alone film), and my favorite of the cycle. Jerome (Jean-Claude Brialy) is a thirty something diplomat enjoying his final “bachelor holiday” on Lake Annecy, where he runs into old friend Aurora (Aurora Cornu). She is a writer, currently blocked for ideas. Playfully informing Jerome that he will be her Muse, she offers him a guest room, and introduces him to her neighbor, a woman with two teenage daughters, a precocious 15 year-old named Laura (Beatrice Romand) and her aloof 16-year old sister Claire (Laurence de Monaghan). It doesn’t take Jerome long to start giving Aurora story ideas. While mindfully keeping Laura’s platonic crush at bay, he finds himself drawn to her sister, developing an inexplicable desire to touch her knee. Despite how that sounds, there’s nothing leering about the way Rohmer handles it. To Jerome, this is an abstract and romanticized form of adulation (like Alan Ladd’s obsession with the painting in Laura), as opposed to a sexual urge. He keeps the voyeuristic Aurora apprised, as she eggs him on (she needs the material). Ultimately as enigmatic as love itself, topped off with gorgeous cinematography by Nestor Almendros.
That is all I have for you …what are you thinking about today?
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The Sky Dancing banner headline uses a snippet from a work by artist Tashi Mannox called 'Rainbow Study'. The work is described as a" study of typical Tibetan rainbow clouds, that feature in Thanka painting, temple decoration and silk brocades". dakinikat was immediately drawn to the image when trying to find stylized Tibetan Clouds to represent Sky Dancing. It is probably because Tashi's practice is similar to her own. His updated take on the clouds that fill the collection of traditional thankas is quite special.
You can find his work at his website by clicking on his logo below. He is also a calligraphy artist that uses important vajrayana syllables. We encourage you to visit his on line studio.