A shopper erupted in fury and claimed anti-white discrimination after she was asked to purchase a $1 reusable bag at a Chicago-area arts and crafts store.
Another customer began recording when she overheard the woman insulting the store’s black employees and shouting about Donald Trump, reported Patch.
“I voted for Trump — so there,” the woman shouted. “You want to kick me out for that? And look who won.”
The angry shopper claimed she had been discriminated against because she was white and had voted for Trump in the lengthy rant recorded Wednesday at Michael’s in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood.
The woman, who has not been identified, noticed other customers had pulled out their phones to record her harangue, which witnesses said went on for more than a half hour, and she angrily confronted the woman whose video went viral.
“I don’t know what you think you’re videoing, lady,” the woman says. “I was just discriminated against by two black women, and you being a white woman, you’re literally thinking that that’s okay? You standing there with your baby thinking that’s okay.”
The angry shopper accuses the other woman’s 2-year-old child of stealing and then records video of the mother and child before turning her wrath back on the store’s employees.
“You’re a liar, I don’t care, because I’m a consumer,” she shouts at an employee. “I’m a customer.”
The video is the latest in a series of white people justifying their obnoxious behavior and demanding special treatment because they voted for Trump.
Luchovich is a master.
Here is the link for that top cartoon which Luckovich titled “Flammable.”
On to Bagley…if you aren’t following his twitter feed, you should.
He is one of those political cartoonist who makes a statement with every word he tweets.
Did you all see the “official” photo from last night’s dinner date between tRump and Romney…I guess it was the one that tRump approved for publishing:
I thought I would share another few screen grabs:
This is all I have for you today.
My mother has just been diagnosed with malignant ovarian cancer. We don’t know what stage it is in…or what treatment, if any…is available. As you can imagine things are fucking hell at home. She sees the specialist, a gynecologist oncologist on the 12th.
Anyway, going forward… my Wednesday threads will be a round-up of political cartoons. This has always been one of my favorite post to put up…they are quick and fun, and still substantial because I think political editorial cartoons are so essential in this political climate. Especially now that tRump is in and any chance of the media or press holding him accountable for his actions is out.
This is an open thread.
Breaking news this morning: #tRump will be leading rallies again beginning on Thursday in Cincinnati. He will then go on to stage rallies in other “swing states.” He doesn’t want anyone to call it a “victory tour” either, so don’t do that or you might lose your citizenship or be thrown in jail.
President-elect Donald Trump will begin a “Thank You Tour” on Thursday in Cincinnati, replicating the arena events that powered his surprise campaign, three of his transition officials said.
The Republican has credited his rallies as a central component of his victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton. The events at times drew tens of thousands of people and were often broadcast live and in their entirety on cable news networks, affording him a practically unfiltered channel to voters.
His post-election tour may take him to “swing states we flipped over,” George Gigicos, Trump’s director of advance, told reporters on Nov. 17. Trump won Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida, all states President Barack Obama won twice.
In case you haven’t noticed, insane president-elect doesn’t like dissent–not one little bit! He either hasn’t heard about the first amendment to the Constitution or thinks it should be ignored. This morning he tweeted about it.
Last night, #tRump flew into a rage at CNN reporter Jeff Zeleny for saying on the air that there is no evidence of that voter fraud led to Hillary Clinton’s more than 2 million lead in the popular vote, and then retweeted several random twitter posts about it. One of them was from a 16-year-old boy, but he apparently likes #tRump; so #tRump thinks he’s an expert.
The president elect doesn’t think he needs intelligence briefings from the U.S. intelligence agencies, because he’s apparently getting his briefings from “foreign leaders”–most likely Vladimir Putin. He gets his “expert advice” on appointments from Fabio and Don King. He doesn’t give press conferences or talk to the media. The only thing we have is his tweets. Some folks think we should ignore them, but this madman is the president elect and his tweets are essentially press releases. They may be the only direct communications Americans get from #tRump for the next four years. They are also the best evidence we have that #tRump is literally insane.
Aaron Blake at The Washington Post: Why we can’t — and shouldn’t — ignore Donald Trump’s tweets.
With a trio of tweets Sunday alleging millions of fraudulent votes and “serious” fraud in three states, Trump effectively hijacked the news cycle for the next 24 hours with baseless conspiracy theories. A week prior, it was Trump’s tweets demanding an apology from the cast of “Hamilton” for disrespecting Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who was in the audience the previous night.
It can all feel pretty small and sideshow-y at times. Some have a prescription: The media should resist the urge to cover Trump’s tweets as big news. Others even say we should ignore them altogether.
But both of those are fantasies. And we’d be doing readers a disservice if we tried either.
Undergirding the idea that Trump’s tweets shouldn’t be big news is the theory that he’s manipulating the media into focusing on small things to cover up less sexy but more important things — conflicts of interests and possible corruption, in particular.
I’m skeptical any such plan exists, given that Trump’s thin-skinned tweeting is pretty indiscriminate. But this idea has returned with a vengeance given the latest tweetstorm, and it’s likely to perk up again after Trump on Tuesday morning suggested revoking the citizenship or jailing of people who burn the American flag.
I don’t buy that he’s following some Machiavellian theory of media distraction. We’ve already seen that #tRump has virtually no self-control. He’s an childish man who has always been prone to temper tantrums. He’s not going to change. This dangerous man has been chosen by a minority of American voters have chosen to be the most powerful person in the world. More from Blake:
What we’re basically talking about here is treating Trump like a social media troll with an egg for an avatar who can be blocked or ignored and hopefully loses the will to keep harassing us.
But this is the president-elect of the United States. The job comes with the so-called bully pulpit, and what he says matters and will be the subject of debate no matter what the mainstream media does. Everything he says reverberates. It doesn’t matter if he says it on Twitter or at a news conference; either way it’s going to be consumed by tens of millions of people, and the media has an important role to play when it comes to fact-checking and providing context.
ProPublica senior reporting fellow Jessica Huseman nailed it in an interview with The Fix’s Callum Borchers on Monday.
“If he had said something similar in a press conference, no one would be concerned that journalists are getting distracted by his absurd language,” Huseman said. “But because it was a tweet, that’s somehow different? Unfortunately, this president-elect has decided to make Twitter his main means of communicating with the American public, and the American public listens deeply to things that he says on Twitter.”
Now, before I move on to other #tRump news, here’s a bizarre photo that Kellyanne Conway posted on Twitter yesterday.
How would you caption this picture?
I have lots of links for you today.
Here’s one of the most frightening. The New York Times: How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red,’ by Amanda Taub.
Yascha Mounk is used to being the most pessimistic person in the room. Mr. Mounk, a lecturer in government at Harvard, has spent the past few years challenging one of the bedrock assumptions of Western politics: that once a country becomes a liberal democracy, it will stay that way.
His research suggests something quite different: that liberal democracies around the world may be at serious risk of decline.
Mr. Mounk’s interest in the topic began rather unusually. In 2014, he published a book, “Stranger in My Own Country.” It started as a memoir of his experiences growing up as a Jew in Germany, but became a broader investigation of how contemporary European nations were struggling to construct new, multicultural national identities.
He concluded that the effort was not going very well. A populist backlash was rising. But was that just a new kind of politics, or a symptom of something deeper?
To answer that question, Mr. Mounk teamed up with Roberto Stefan Foa, a political scientist at the University of Melbourne in Australia. They have since gathered and crunched data on the strength of liberal democracies.
Their conclusion, to be published in the January issue of the Journal of Democracy, is that democracies are not as secure as people may think. Right now, Mr. Mounk said in an interview, “the warning signs are flashing red.”
Read the rest at the link, but here’s disturbing chart from the piece showing how attitudes toward the need to live in a democracy have changed over time. Older people still care about democracy, younger people not so much.
We haven’t heard that much about #tRump’s son-in-law lately; but, according to the Wall Street Journal, like he may have nearly as many conflicts of interest as #tRump.
The real-estate company controlled by Jared Kushner, President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law, has hundreds of millions of dollars in loans outstanding from domestic and foreign financial institutions, markets condominiums to wealthy U.S. and foreign buyers and has obtained development financing through a controversial U.S. program that sells green cards.
Those and other business activities could raise conflict-of-interest issues if Mr. Kushner is named to a staff position in the Trump administration. Executive branch employees are prohibited from participating in any matter in which there is “a close causal link” between that matter and a “real possibility” of a financial gain or loss, according to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.
Mr. Trump has floated the idea of Mr. Kushner taking a number of roles in his administration. But he also is considering not giving Mr. Kushner any staff position to sidestep the conflict issue, a person familiar with his thinking said Monday.
If Mr. Trump wanted to give Mr. Kushner an official role he also would have to comply with federal nepotism law. Even if Mr. Kushner were to serve in the new administration as an unpaid adviser, his potential influence on policy would invite scrutiny, legal experts said.
Much more at the WSJ. I got through the paywall somehow; I hope my link works.
Jonathan Cohn at Huffington Post: Trump’s Pick For HHS Signals He Is Dead Serious About Repealing Obamacare
The choice, which Trump’s transition team announced on Tuesday morning, would appear to signal Trump’s determination to proceed with a major overhaul of federal health care programs ― including not just Obamacare, which Republicans have sworn to repeal, but also Medicare and Medicaid.
Price, 62, practiced as an orthopedist for about two decades before winning election to the House of Representatives in 2005.
Once in Congress, Price gained notoriety for his right-wing views ― first as chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative lawmakers, and then as a founding member of the Tea Party Caucus. A constant in his career has been a hostility to government interference with the practice of medicine.
That may help explain why Price has emerged one of Washington’s most vocal and persistent critics of the Affordable Care Act. That law, which President Barack Obama signed in 2010, has helped more than 20 million people to get health insurance and made coverage available even to people with pre-existing medical conditions. It has also increased the underlying cost of insurance and raised taxes on the very wealthy.
In a prepared statement, Trump hailed Price as “a renowned physician” and “go-to expert on healthcare policy. … He is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible healthcare to every American.”
Democrats reacted to the news harshly, noting Price’s history of criticizing major federal health programs ― as well as his strong opposition to abortion rights.
“Congressman Price has proven to be far out of the mainstream of what Americans want when it comes to Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and Planned Parenthood,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the incoming minority leader. “Nominating Congressman Price to be the HHS secretary is akin to asking the fox to guard the hen house.”
Price is also a birther:
More reads, links only:
Think Progress: Trump’s lies have a purpose. They are an assault on democracy.
New York Times: Combative, Populist Steve Bannon Found His Man in Donald Trump.
Washington Post: What a President Trump means for foreign policy.
Must Read! David Fahrenthold and Robert O’Harrow Jr. at The Washington Post: The mogul, in a 2007 deposition, had to face up to a series of falsehoods and exaggerations. And he did. Sort of.
Catherine Rampell at The Washington Post: In Trump’s economy, mammas should make sure their babies grow up to be con men.
Washington Post: Donald Trump’s political mandate is historically small.
Eric Boelert at Media Matters: Too Little, Too Late: Weeks After Election, Media See Trump’s Conflicts, Potential Self-Dealings, And Corruption.
Matthew Yglesias at Vox: The Trump conflicts of interest we can see are just the tip of the iceberg.
Well, my computer is being quirky again so we’ll have to see how long it takes to get this up today. I really need a new one badly but this year has just about done me in on all levels including financially. Right now I’m on an old HP running VISTA that’s unbelievably slow. Hopefully, the other one will come alive once it sits awhile which happens, usually. This is just another level of stress I do not need.
We keep having more mass shootings and violence. There was one here down in the nastiest part of Bourbon Street early Sunday morning. Ten people were shot with one young man dying of his injuries.
Ohio State University has just experienced another horrid attack by a Somali refugee who drove a car into a group of people then started stabbing people with a butcher knife. This will undoubtedly get some kind of play from the white nationalists. I’m just waiting for it.
Police confirm the suspect who drove a car into a crowd of people and began attacking them with a butcher knife on the campus of The Ohio State University is dead.
OSU president Michael Drake says the sole suspect drove a car into a group of people, got out and began to cut them with a butcher knife. A police officer arrived within a minute of the attack and shot and killed the attacker.
A police officer was on the scene within a minute and killed the assailant. “He engaged the suspect and eliminated the threat,” OSU Police Chief Craig Stone said.
NBC News reports the suspect in the attack was an 18-year-old student, a Somali refugee and legal permanent resident of the United States. The suspect’s name was not released and the motive was unknown, but officials said the attack was clearly deliberate and may have been planned in advance.
“This was done on purpose,” Stone said.
Mass murder/shooter Dylann Roof wants to defend himself against his outstanding hate crimes charges. Jury selection began in the trial with Roof representing himself.
A federal judge has ruled that accused Emanuel AME Church shooter Dylann Roof can represent himself in his federal hate crimes trial, potentially allowing the self-avowed white supremacist to question the shooting survivors and nine victims’ family members if they are called to testify.
Roof made the last-minute request as jury selection in his death penalty trial was set to begin this morning. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel cautioned Roof against serving as his own attorney, noting his defense team’s considerable legal expertise, but ultimately granted the request. He noted that Roof has a constitutional right to represent himself.
“I do find defendant has the personal capacity to self-representation,” Gergel said. “I continue to believe it is strategically unwise, but it is a decision you have the right to make.”
Roof, garbed in a striped grey-and-white jail uniform, stood up front in the courtroom and answered the judge’s questions with “yes, sir” in a quiet, raspy voice. After Gergel’s ruling, he smiled slightly as he returned to his defense table but showed no other obvious emotion.
Roof then sat in the front-and-center seat as his lead lawyer, renowned capital defense attorney David Bruck, scooted over. Roof told the judge that he wanted the attorneys he’d just asked to be discharged sit at the table with him. They now will act as “stand-by counsel,” Gergel ruled.
At one point, Bruck stood to object to a potential juror after the court had moved on to consider others without Roof objecting. The judge admonished Bruck and told him to sit down and confer with Roof.
“Mr. Roof elected to self-represent,” Gergel said.
The first panel of 10 prospective jurors brought in Monday morning were all white and appeared to be middle-aged or older. Filling three rows in the audience, an all-black group of shooting survivors, families of the nine dead, and the pastor of Emanuel AME listened attentively with no outward reactions to news that Roof would be acting as his own attorney.
Trump supporters continue to terrorize and harass their neighbors and folks that just happen to have looks they don’t like. We already talked about the appalling jerk on the Delta flight screaming Hillary Bitches at women passengers. Here’s another nasty white woman harassing black store employees.
I’ve decided to no longer capitalize trump’s name.
I even had to change the auto-correct on my phone…to stop it from switching “trump” to “Trump”. Actually, yesterday I saw a hashtag that made me laugh. #tRump. Nuff said.
But if you think about it, my little protest is not singular in nature…
Before Trump, our national pastimes centered mainly around baseball and Instagram stalking our exes. But as the over-exposed meat bag trundles toward office, it’s time to rededicate our efforts to one oft-overlooked aspect of the resistance: Finding subtle ways to mock and needle him until he implodes with a wet pop, leaving nothing but a pair of gaudy cufflinks and a neglected Twitter account.
Trump’s skin is so thin it makes a baby’s eyelids seem like the callused palms of a cattle rancher. Probing him is satisfying because it provokes a response, which is why we have to spend the next four years doing it all the time. On Saturday, it was discovered that typing “Trump Tower” into Google Maps led you to…
DUMP TOWER! Immature? Sure! Ultimately pointless? Maybe not! Think of Trump’s ego like a giant balloon, full to the point of bursting. We, the American people, are each armed with our own tiny pins, with which we can and must prod that gas-filled balloon at every available opportunity.
Just a few more trump links, in dump fashion.
The president-elect held court on Thursday at his Palm Beach, Fla., Mar-a-Lago club at a large table with family members including wife Melania and sons Eric and Barron.
One witness told us Trump took a prime table next to the fireplace in the club’s living room, but spent a lot of time greeting members and asking who they think should be his top diplomat.
The spy said, “Donald was walking around asking everybody he could about who should be his secretary of state. There was a lot of criticism about Romney, and a lot of people like Rudy. There are also many people advocating for [former US ambassador to the UN] John Bolton.”
On Friday it was reported that Trump wants Romney to publicly apologize for criticizing him during the campaign in order to be considered for secretary of state.
Guests joining Trump for Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago included Christopher Nixon Cox, the grandson of Richard Nixon, who we are told is being lined up to be Trump’s ambassador to China. Also there was Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, CEO of Newsmax Media Christopher Ruddy, boxing promoter Don King, interior designer William Eubanks and political consultant Mary Ourisman. Attracting almost as much attention as the president-elect was chiseled romance-novel hunk Fabio, who was seated at a table near Trump, and “was asked for pictures nearly as often as Trump himself.”
Meanwhile, security was intense. The witness told us that Ocean Boulevard outside Mar-a-Lago was sealed off, and all vehicles were diverted to a nearby parking lot to be fully searched and checked by sniffer dogs. Entering the club, all members had to pass through airport-style metal detectors and have their bags searched. Once inside, “Secret Service agents were swarming everywhere. But Trump seemed relaxed, like he was in his own living room and surrounded by family.”
More on that Romney apology: REPORT: Mitt Romney May Be Forced to Publicly Apologize to Trump in Exchange For Sec of State Bid | Mediaite
Whether Donald Trump is already bored with being president, or simply overwhelmed, there are signs that Trump is already handing the presidency off to his incoming vice president Mike Pence.
Keep in mind that earlier this year Trump’s own son reportedly told the Kasich campaign that future president Trunp planned to hand off most of his presidency to his vice president.
And judging by Trump’s refusal to attend the critically-important daily intelligence briefings that the president, and incoming president, receive, it appears that Trump is on track to license the most important parts of the presidency to religious right activist Mike Pence.
Here’s the NYT, which first reported the story of Kasich being offered what amounts to as the entire presidency:
Take a look at the link for the rest.
Now for links related to the trump presidency. (God, that is depressing.)
The New York Postreports that despite earlier reports to the contrary, the incoming Trump administration supports an ongoing legal witch hunt against the Clintons after all — just not one conducted by the U.S. government:
Foreign governments will be encouraged to investigate the Clinton Foundation’s finances….
A source close to President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team told The Post that the new administration plans to pressure the US ambassadors it will name to bring up the foundation with foreign governments — and suggest they probe its financial dealings.
Trump said last week that he would not order an investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server or her role in the foundation.
But Trump’s statement didn’t preclude the backroom moves to investigate the group.
“Haiti and Colombia will be key diplomatic posts for this because of all the money involved,” said the source.
Yeah, those are certainly the legal systems you want to turn to for investigations that are aboveboard and first-rate: Freedom House says of Haiti that “The judiciary is inefficient and weak, and is burdened by a lack of resources, a large backlog of cases, outdated legal codes, and poor facilities,” adding that “Bribery is rampant at all levels of the judicial system,” while in Colombia “The justice system remains compromised by corruption and extortion.”
Remember the veteran who had his dinner taken away by the Chili’s manager? Check this shit out:
The Army veteran who was denied a free meal on Veterans Day at Chili’s has temporarily vacated his home because of threats, reports the Dallas Morning News.
But the news isn’t all bad, the veteran has also received more than $6,000 in pledges from many Americans through a GoFundMe account. He has asked the money be used to support hungry veterans. And Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, extended a personal invitation to the veteran to games for the remainder of the season.
Ernest Walker began receiving threats after a television news outlet showed his address and phone number during a segment about the incident, said Walker’s attorney. The newspaper reports that Walker received phone calls from restricted numbers saying “I know where you live.” He also received threats on Facebook and is now filing a report with the Ovilla Police Department.
On Veterans Day, Walker went to a Chili’s Bar & Grill in Cedar Hill to enjoy the free burger deal offered to vets, but had his meal removed by a restaurant manager. The manager challenged his status as a veteran despite Walker having shown him the proper ID and papers. Walker then began filming his exchange with the manager and posted it on Facebook. After several days, the post went viral, Chili’s was inundated with complaints and the company apologized to Walker and placed the manager on leave.
Uh, the manager was egged on by a Trump supporter in a “Make America Great Hat” btw…
The election of Donald Trump to the presidency reveals the true character of America.
Americans, like other humans, live in bubbles: The place you live, the media you consume, and the experiences you have shape what you take to be the world. To get out of hers, Arlie Hochschild, a sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and a self-identified liberal progressive, headed to Lake Charles, Louisiana, for five years of field work, resulting in Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, a book that’s being called one of the best things you can read to understand the election.
In interviews with her subjects — a gospel singer, an oil-rig worker, “an obedient Christian wife” — Hochschild was careful to make them feel safe, allowing them to reveal to her what their views are, rather than prying it out of them. “I was acutely aware of the fragility of the ground rules I was trying to set, to promise them no judgments, so that they would be honest with me,” she tells Science of Us. They avoided the topic of race altogether, and when she did finally raise it to them, the immediate reply was, No – I’m not racist.
Her subjects’ sensitivity underscores a fact of political life that gets overlooked: If you want someone to listen to you, don’t offend them. Even if you think their views are deplorable.
“The word racist is one of the country’s most powerful triggers,” she says. It immediately puts people on the defensive, and political-science research suggests that shaming people isn’t the best way to convince them of your worldview. Her subjects assumed than anybody from the North would think of them as a racist — a bad, brutal person associated with slavery and the oppression of minorities. “They were allergic to the word,” she says. When conversations did arrive at race with her 40 in-depth subjects, she saw “every expression of every viewpoint.” One guy described himself as a “reformed bigot”: He used the N-word in the 1960s, when everyone around him was, but hadn’t used it since. While he has a Facebook page heroizing policemen, he also doesn’t tolerate racial slurs on it. His was “a mixed story,” she says, and “there are so many mixed stories if you don’t start with that word racist.”
Journalist Masha Gessen has spent years reporting on Vladimir Putin’s rule in Russia. She has written that the focus on Russian influence over now President-elect Donald Trump has been overstated and the result of a failure of imagination: the inability to imagine that the president would profoundly break with the norms of our country’s political discourse and practices.
A few days after Trump’s win, Gessen wrote about what citizens should be on the watch for with the incoming administration. ProPublica’s Eric Umansky and Jesse Eisinger sat down with Gessen to talk about how exactly journalists should be covering Trump.
Well, people died this week. Some of note:
trump marked his death with a tweet:
I guess trump’s boyfriend didn’t appreciate it…
Obituaries for the past week. Fuck 2016:
Continuing the link dump…
Georgia man serves life despite
DNA implicating another killer
That is an article from February of 2016. But I just thought it would be as interesting read for you all.
As well as this one:
This is an open thread.
The big news this morning is the death of Fidel Castro. From the AP via the NYT: Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Who Defied US for 50 Years, Dies at 90.
Former President Fidel Castro, who led a rebel army to improbable victory in Cuba, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of 10 U.S. presidents during his half century rule, has died at age 90.
With a shaking voice, President Raul Castro said on state television that his older brother died at 10:29 p.m. Friday. He ended the announcement by shouting the revolutionary slogan: “Toward victory, always!”
Castro’s reign over the island-nation 90 miles (145 kilometers) from Florida was marked by the U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. The bearded revolutionary, who survived a crippling U.S. trade embargo as well as dozens, possibly hundreds, of assassination plots, died 10 years after ill health forced him to hand power over to Raul.
Castro overcame imprisonment at the hands of dictator Fulgencio Batista, exile in Mexico and a disastrous start to his rebellion before triumphantly riding into Havana in January 1959 to become, at age 32, the youngest leader in Latin America. For decades, he served as an inspiration and source of support to revolutionaries from Latin America to Africa.
His commitment to socialism was unwavering, though his power finally began to fade in mid-2006 when a gastrointestinal ailment forced him to hand over the presidency to Raul in 2008, provisionally at first and then permanently. His defiant image lingered long after he gave up his trademark Cohiba cigars for health reasons and his tall frame grew stooped.
“Socialism or death” remained Castro’s rallying cry even as Western-style democracy swept the globe and other communist regimes in China and Vietnam embraced capitalism, leaving this island of 11 million people an economically crippled Marxist curiosity.
The Times also has a lengthy obituary: Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies at 90.
Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba’s maximum leader, bedeviling 11 American presidents and briefly pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war, died Friday. He was 90….
In declining health for several years, Mr. Castro had orchestrated what he hoped would be the continuation of his Communist revolution, stepping aside in 2006 when he was felled by a serious illness. He provisionally ceded much of his power to his younger brother Raúl, now 85, and two years later formally resigned as president. Raúl Castro, who had fought alongside Fidel Castro from the earliest days of the insurrection and remained minister of defense and his brother’s closest confidant, has ruled Cuba since then, although he has told the Cuban people he intends to resign in 2018.
Fidel Castro had held on to power longer than any other living national leader except Queen Elizabeth II. He became a towering international figure whose importance in the 20th century far exceeded what might have been expected from the head of state of a Caribbean island nation of 11 million people.
He dominated his country with strength and symbolism from the day he triumphantly entered Havana on Jan. 8, 1959, and completed his overthrow of Fulgencio Batista by delivering his first major speech in the capital before tens of thousands of admirers at the vanquished dictator’s military headquarters.
A spotlight shone on him as he swaggered and spoke with passion until dawn. Finally, white doves were released to signal Cuba’s new peace. When one landed on Mr. Castro, perching on a shoulder, the crowd erupted, chanting “Fidel! Fidel!” To the war-weary Cubans gathered there and those watching on television, it was an electrifying sign that their young, bearded guerrilla leader was destined to be their savior.
Much more at the link.
Meanwhile, we’re in the midst of a shocking revolution here at home. Our government has been essentially taken over by a hostile foreign state, and it appears that no one in power is doing anything about it. It looks like we are going to be ruled by billionaires–are we really going to allow our country to become a Russian oligarchy?
The Washington Post: Americans keep looking away from the election’s most alarming story, by Eric Chenowith.
In assessing Donald Trump’s presidential victory, Americans continue to look away from this election’s most alarming story: the successful effort by a hostile foreign power to manipulate public opinion before the vote.
U.S. intelligence agencies determined that the Russian government actively interfered in our elections. Russian state propaganda gave little doubt that this was done to support President-elect Trump, who repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin and excused the Russian president’s foreign aggression and domestic repression. Most significantly, U.S. intelligence agencies have affirmed that the Russian government directedthe illegal hacking of private email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and prominent individuals. The emails were then released by WikiLeaks, which has benefited financially from a Russian state propaganda arm, used Russian operatives for security and made clear an intent to harm the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.From the Russian perspective, the success of this operation can hardly be overstated. News stories on the DNC emails released in July served to disrupt the Democratic National Convention, instigate political infighting and suggest for some supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — without any real proof — that the Democratic primary had been “rigged” against their candidate. On Oct. 7, WikiLeaks began near dailydumps from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s email account, generating a month of largely negative reporting on Clinton, her campaign staff, her husband and their foundation. With some exceptions, there was little news in the email beyond political gossip and things the media had covered before, now revisited from a seemingly “hidden” viewpoint.Russian (and former communist) propaganda has traditionally worked exactly this way: The more you “report” something negatively, the more the negative is true. Trump and supportive media outlets adopted the technique and reveled in information gained from the illegal Russian hacking (as well as many “fake news” stories that evidencesuggestswere generated by Russian intelligence operations) to make exaggerated claims (“Hillary wants to open borders to 600 million people!”) or to accuse Clinton of illegality, corruption and, ironically, treasonous behavior.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said on Friday that despite Russian attempts to undermine the presidential election, it has concluded that the results “accurately reflect the will of the American people.”
The statement came as liberal opponents of Donald J. Trump, some citing fears of vote hacking, are seeking recounts in three states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — where his margin of victory was extremely thin.
A drive by Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, for recounts in those states had brought in more than $5 million by midday on Friday, her campaign said, and had increased its goal to $7 million. She filed for a recount in Wisconsin on Friday, about an hour before the deadline.
In its statement, the administration said, “The Kremlin probably expected that publicity surrounding the disclosures that followed the Russian government-directed compromises of emails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations, would raise questions about the integrity of the election process that could have undermined the legitimacy of the president-elect.”
That was a reference to the breach of the Democratic National Committee’s email system, and the leak of emails from figures like John D. Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.
“Nevertheless, we stand behind our election results, which accurately reflect the will of the American people,” it added.
I don’t get it. So President Obama really isn’t that interested in fighting for his legacy anymore? And there’s this from The Hill: Obama urged Clinton to concede on election night.
Authors Amie Parnes, The Hill’s senior White House correspondent, and Jonathan Allen cite three Clintonworld sources familiar with the election-night request in the unreleased book from Crown Publishing.
“You need to concede,” Obama told his former secretary of State as she, her family, and her top aides continued to watch results trickle in from the key Rust Belt states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The latter state, called after 1:30 a.m. by The Associated Press, was the clear tipping point for the White House race, ensuring Trump would crest over the 270 electoral-vote threshold needed to win.
Clinton ultimately heeded Obama’s advice and called Trump to acknowledge her defeat in the early morning hours Wednesday….
Obama’s call left a sour taste in the mouths of some Clinton allies who believe she should have waited longer, and there’s now a fight playing out between the Obama and Clinton camps over whether to support an effort to force the Rust Belt states to recount their votes.
Meanwhile, efforts to get recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are moving forward. The Wisconsin Election Commission: Wisconsin Elections Commission Receives Two Presidential Election Recount Petitions.
MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Elections Commission today received two recount petitions from the Jill Stein for President Campaign and from Rocky Roque De La Fuente, Administrator Michael Haas announced.
“The Commission is preparing to move forward with a statewide recount of votes for President of the United States, as requested by these candidates,” Haas said.
“We have assembled an internal team to direct the recount, we have been in close consultation with our county clerk partners, and have arranged for legal representation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice,” Haas said. “We plan to hold a teleconference meeting for county clerks next week and anticipate the recount will begin late in the week after the Stein campaign has paid the recount fee, which we are still calculating.”
The last statewide recount was of the Supreme Court election in 2011. At that time, the Associated Press surveyed county clerks and reported that costs to the counties exceeded $520,000, though several counties did not respond to the AP’s survey. That election had 1.5 million votes, and Haas said the Commission expects the costs to be higher for an election with 2.975 million votes. “The Commission is in the process of obtaining cost estimates from county clerks so that we can calculate the fee which the campaigns will need to pay before the recount can start,” Haas said. The Commission will need to determine how the recount costs will be assessed to the campaigns.
The state is working under a federal deadline of December 13 to complete the recount. As a result, county boards of canvassers may need to work evenings and weekends to meet the deadlines. “The recount process is very detail-oriented, and this deadline will certainly challenge some counties to finish on time,” Haas said.
A recount is different than an audit and is more rigorous, Haas explained. More than 100 reporting units across the state were randomly selected for a separate audit of their voting equipment as required by state law, and that process has already begun. Electronic voting equipment audits determine whether all properly-marked ballots are accurately tabulated by the equipment. In a recount, all ballots (including those that were originally hand counted) are examined to determine voter intent before being retabulated. In addition, the county boards of canvassers will examine other documents, including poll lists, written absentee applications, rejected absentee ballots, and provisional ballots before counting the votes.
Haas noted that the Commission’s role is to order the recount, to provide legal guidance to the counties during the recount, and to certify the results. If the candidates disagree with the results of the recount, the law gives them the right to appeal in circuit court within five business days after the recount is completed. The circuit court is where issues are resolved that may be discovered during the recount but are not resolved to the satisfaction of the candidates.
The Detroit News: Mich. readies for presidential recount as cutoff looms.
Lansing — Elections officials are preparing for a possible presidential election recount in Michigan that could begin as soon as next week, state Director of Elections Chris Thomas said Friday.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has indicated she plans to jumpstart a recount in the Great Lakes state over fears that Michigan’s election results could have been manipulated by hackers. Republican President-elect Donald won the state by 10,704 votes over Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to unofficial updated resultsposted Wednesday.
By Friday afternoon, Stein had raised more than $5 million of her $7 million goal to cover the cost of a recount in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan “to ensure the integrity of our elections” because “there is a significant need to verify machine-counted vote totals,” according to her campaign website. Stein finished nearly 2.3 million votes behind Trump in Michigan and received 1.1 percent of the vote.
Michigan’s deadline for initiating a recount is Wednesday. “We have not heard from anybody,” Thomas said about a Stein recount request. “We’re just trying to be proactive, make sure we have plans.”
Thomas said officials “could probably begin by the end of the week,” although it will be “a huge undertaking in a very short period of time” if it happens.
That’s all I have for you today. I admit that I’ve been sinking into depression and despair over the past few days. I don’t know how to deal with this nightmare. I’m not giving up; I’m just in a state of extreme confusion and not sure how to come out of it yet.
Take care Sky Dancers! I love you all.