Wednesday Hump Day #tRump Day Cartoon Day


Yeah, what the hell…lets just dive in!

Luchovich is a master.

Here is the link for that top cartoon which Luckovich titled “Flammable.”

 

11/29 Mike Luckovich: Why not? | Mike Luckovich

 

11/27 Mike Luckovich: The list. | Mike Luckovich

11/23 Mike Luckovich: Ask not… | Mike Luckovich

 

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.

Bagley Cartoon: First, They Came for Your Medicare | The Salt Lake Tribune

 

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Bagley Cartoon: Protectors of the Sacred | The Salt Lake Tribune

 

 

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Bagley cartoon: Trump Triumphant | The Salt Lake Tribune

 

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Bagley cartoon: The Trump Transition | The Salt Lake Tribune

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Bagley cartoon: Fidel Farewell | The Salt Lake Tribune

 

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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:

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I thought I would share another few screen grabs:

 

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From 2013 but still...

From 2013 but still…

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11/30/2016 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

11/30/2016 Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson

Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson -

11/30/2016 Cartoon by Nick Anderson

Cartoon by Nick Anderson -

Crude Awakening: 11/29/2016 Cartoon by Jen Sorensen

Cartoon by Jen Sorensen - Crude Awakening

11/29/2016 Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker -

FREEDOM OF SPEECH: 11/30/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Twitter tirades: 11/29/2016 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Twitter tirades

Skeleton Key: 11/30/2016 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Skeleton Key

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.

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Tuesday Reads: Donald #tRump, The Ugly UnAmerican, Wants an Ugly America

Trump wants to ban photos of his double chin

Trump wants to ban photos of his double chin

Good Morning!!

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.

Bloomberg reports:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Jonathan Cohn at Huffington Post: Trump’s Pick For HHS Signals He Is Dead Serious About Repealing Obamacare

President-elect Donald Trump will name an ultraconservative surgeon, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), to run the Department of Health and Human Services.

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.

George Lakoff: A Minority President: Why the Polls Failed, And What the Majority Can Do.

Vox: What the alt-right actually wants from President Trump.

New York Times: Combative, Populist Steve Bannon Found His Man in Donald Trump.

Washington Post: What a President Trump means for foreign policy.

Jamelle Bouie at Slate: Keep Hope Alive. Demoralized Democrats have a road map for success in Trump’s America. It was written by Jesse Jackson.

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.


Monday Reads

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.9koowjw

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 474c9df0fd622eea85904b4d6d4f2e0cand 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.

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.

 We continue to hear horrifying news about how central white nationalism will be to Trump Policies.  Cities are already deciding how to fight the policies that will punish them for their sanctuary status.  It appears both Trump and Bannon share the idea of white genetic superiority.  We’re beginning to see the tough struggles and fights that will beleaguer the country as Republicans try to trample the civil rights of so many of us.

 


Sunday Reads: Bring out your dead…bong. 

Good Afternoon.

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…

‘Dump Tower’ Is Just the Beginning Of Our New National Trolling Pastime

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.

Trump is ignoring daily intelligence briefings, relying on ‘a number of sources’ instead

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Trump spent Thanksgiving asking: Mitt or Rudy? | New York Post

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.”

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The Coast Guard patrols the Mar-a-Lago Resort ahead of Donald Trump’s arrival for Thanksgiving.Photo: Getty Images

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.”

Fabio?

More on that Romney apology: REPORT: Mitt Romney May Be Forced to Publicly Apologize to Trump in Exchange For Sec of State Bid | Mediaite

And one more…Trump is already handing the presidency to Pence – AMERICAblog News

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.

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Now for links related to the trump presidency. (God, that is depressing.)

No More Mister Nice Blog: VENGEANCE AGAINST THE CLINTONS: TRUMP TREATS IT LIKE A BUSINESS PROPOSITION

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.”

 

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Remember the veteran who had his dinner taken away by the Chili’s manager? Check this shit out:

Army vet denied meal at Chili’s forced to vacate home after threats | Talk of the Town

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…

What Does Donald Trump’s Election Say About America? – The Atlantic

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency reveals the true character of America.

Calling Someone Racist Won’t Help Your Arguement — Science of Us

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.”

Please read the rest at the link. I know that when I flat out call my husband a misogynist…the argument goes no where. (Even though that is exactly what he is.)img_1763

Women are preparing for Trump and Pence’s inevitable assault on reproductive rights.

Your Obstetrician (and Trump) Will See You Now – Ms. Magazine Blog

The Banned 400-Year-Old Shakespearean Speech Being Used For Refugee Rights Today | The Huffington Post

How Journalists Need to Begin Imagining the Unimaginable – ProPublica

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.

Podcast at link.img_1851

Wife of Putin official performs in concentration camp ice dance | World news | The Guardian

Well, people died this week. Some of note:

The Guardian view on Fidel Castro: man of history | Editorial | World news | The Guardian

trump marked his death with a tweet:

castro-capture

I guess trump’s boyfriend didn’t appreciate it…

Vladimir Putin HUMILIATES Trump For Pathetic Response To Fidel Castro’s Death (TWEETS) – US Uncut

Obituaries for the past week. Fuck 2016:

‘Brady Bunch’ Mom Florence Henderson Has Died : The Two-Way : NPR

Ron Glass, ‘Barney Miller’ And ‘Firefly’ Actor, Dead At 71 | The Huffington Post

Fidel Castro’s death could ensure Obama’s opening to Cuba survives – LA Times

Continuing the link dump…

Electoral College must reject Trump unless he sells his business, top lawyers for Bush and Obama…

DNA DENIAL

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:

American Apartheid: A Georgia County Drove Out All Its Black Citizens in 1912 – The New York Times

img_1762Now for some regular general interest links…

Just Like Love, We Can Feel Friendships at First Sight — Science of Us

The Brilliant MI6 Spy Who Perfected the Art of the ‘Honey Trap’ | Atlas Obscura

A Breakthrough in C-Section History: Beatrice of Bourbon’s Survival in 1337 – The New York Times

This is an open thread.


Lazy Saturday Reads

Cuban-Americans celebrate upon hearing about the death of longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Fla., on Saturday. AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Cuban-Americans celebrate upon hearing about the death of longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Fla., on Saturday.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Good Morning!!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
Does anyone in the Obama administration have serious concerns about this? And what about possible connections between Russia and factions in FBI? I can only hope that efforts to deal with the situation are going on behind the scenes, but it sure doesn’t seem that way. Instead, it looks like the Obama administration is focused on making things easier for Trump and his Russian oligarch pals.

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NYT: U.S. Officials Defend Integrity of Vote, Despite Hacking Fears.

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.

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President Barack Obama called Hillary Clinton to persuade her to concede the White House on election night, according to a forthcoming book on Clinton’s defeat.

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.

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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.


Friday Reads: Civics Lessons and Incivility Lesions

15181396_10154223074153512_5973622696062594233_nWell, it just keeps getting stranger and stranger …

It does feel like we’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of sorts.  Let me sort out some of the stranger headlines for you.

Lawrence Lessig–one of the most brilliant legal minds we have today–suggests we let the electoral college actually choose the winner of the Presidential election.  He argues that this is what Hamilton had in mind when he and other framers of the US Constitution designed the Electoral College.  Will any of the Electors listen?

Conventional wisdom tells us that the electoral college requires that the person who lost the popular vote this year must nonetheless become our president. That view is an insult to our framers. It is compelled by nothing in our Constitution. It should be rejected by anyone with any understanding of our democratic traditions  — most important, the electors themselves.

The framers believed, as Alexander Hamilton put it, that “the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the [president].” But no nation had ever tried that idea before. So the framers created a safety valve on the people’s choice. Like a judge reviewing a jury verdict, where the people voted, the electoral college was intended to confirm — or not — the people’s choice. Electors were to apply, in Hamilton’s words, “a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice” — and then decide. The Constitution says nothing about “winner take all.” It says nothing to suggest that electors’ freedom should be constrained in any way. Instead, their wisdom — about whether to overrule “the people” or not — was to be free of political control yet guided by democratic values. They were to be citizens exercising judgment,  not cogs turning a wheel.

Many think we should abolish the electoral college. I’m not convinced that we should. Properly understood, the electors can serve an important function. What if the people elect a Manchurian candidate? Or a child rapist? What if evidence of massive fraud pervades a close election? It is a useful thing to have a body confirm the results of a democratic election — so long as that body exercises its power reflectively and conservatively. Rarely — if ever — should it veto the people’s choice. And if it does, it needs a very good reason.

So, do the electors in 2016 have such a reason?

57b768688eaf3_thumb900Jill Stein continues her fundraising and path to recount and challenge three key swing states with a variety of statistical anomalies in a year where it was obvious the Russians wanted to hack and influence the results.  Stein has raised over $4.5 million dollars. 

Jill Stein, the Green party’s presidential candidate, is preparing to request recounts of the election result in several key battleground states.

Stein launched an online fundraising page seeking donations toward a multimillion-dollar fund she said was needed to request reviews of the results in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The fundraising page said it expected to need around $6m-7m to challenge the results in all three states.

Stein said she was acting due to “compelling evidence of voting anomalies” and that data analysis had indicated “significant discrepancies in vote totals” that were released by state authorities.

“These concerns need to be investigated before the 2016 presidential election is certified,” she said in a statement. “We deserve elections we can trust.”

Stein’s move came amid growing calls for recounts or audits of the election results by groups of academics and activists concerned that foreign hackers may have interfered with election systems. The concerned groups have been urging Hillary Clinton, the defeated Democratic nominee, to join their cause.

Donald Trump won unexpected and narrow victories against Clinton in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin earlier this month and may yet win Michigan, where a final result has not yet been declared.

I am hoping but not hopeful.  There’s evidence that “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say.”wdblair02

The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.

Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of websites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia.

Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House. The sophistication of the Russian tactics may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on “fake news,” as they have vowed to do after widespread complaints about the problem with facebook conversions of all sorts.

There is no way to know whether the Russian campaign proved decisive in electing Trump, but researchers portray it as part of a broadly effective strategy of sowing distrust in U.S. democracy and its leaders. The tactics included penetrating the computers of election officials in several states and releasing troves of hacked emails that embarrassed Clinton in the final months of her campaign.

“They want to essentially erode faith in the U.S. government or U.S. government interests,” said Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute who along with two other researchers has tracked Russian propaganda since 2014. “This was their standard mode during the Cold War. The problem is that this was hard to do before social media.”

images-1The Trumpanzee Center for Orwellian Cabinet appointments demands an apology from Mitt Romney. Criticizing the Orange Apeman is simply not allowed.

Fox News is reporting that Donald Trump’s transition team wants Mitt Romney to publicly apologize for railing against the president-elect during the campaign.

A transition official told Fox’s Ed Henry that some in Trump’s inner circle want the former Massachusetts governor to apologize in order to be seriously considered for the secretary of State.

Trump is reportedly considering whether to pick Romney or former New York City Mayor Rudy Giulianifor the coveted cabinet position.

Giuliani is the preferred choice of Trump’s loyalists and grassroots supporters, while Romney is a favorite of establishment conservatives.

downloadMount Doom is about to become the White House if we can’t stop the Orange Apeman from taking the oath of office.  It will cost us millions and millions of dollars …  It also means that Federal Taxpayer money will go directly to the Trump Family Kleptocracy.

The Secret Service is in negotiations with the Trump Organization to take over two vacant floors in the gilded 68-story Fifth Avenue tower, law enforcement sources told The Post.

The federal agency and the NYPD plan to run a 24/7 command post out of the space that would be housed at least 40 floors below Trump’s $90 million penthouse triplex, where wife Melania and their 10-year-old son Barron will continue to reside at least through the spring, sources said.

The first 26 floors of the glass-clad skyscraper are commercial tenants while the remaining levels are luxury apartments.

But several commercial floors are currently vacant, sources said. The Secret Service is eyeing two contiguous floors for over 250 agents and cops, sources said.

The Secret Service must protect the president and his family wherever they go, including visits back to their permanent homes.

Meanwhile in the furtherance of destroying public education, we have Cruella DeVile being put up as Secretary of Education.  Betsy DeVile is best known as a full fledged member of the American Extremist Christoban Terrorist cult.f7e1920068be37a817b03b9e0b85c3af

The DeVoses are top contributors to the Republican Party and have provided the funding for major Religious Right organizations. And they spent millions of their own fortune promoting the failed voucher initiative in Michigan in 2000, dramatically outspending their opposition. Sixty-eight percent of Michigan voters rejected the voucher scheme. Following this defeat, the DeVoses altered their strategy.

Instead of taking the issue directly to voters, they would support bills for vouchers in state legislatures. In 2002 Dick DeVos gave a speech on school choice at the Heritage Foundation. After an introduction by former Reagan Secretary of Education William Bennett, DeVos described a system of “rewards and consequences” to pressure state politicians to support vouchers. “That has got to be the battle. It will not be as visible,” stated DeVos. He described how his wife Betsy was putting these ideas into practice in their home state of Michigan and claimed this effort has reduced the number of anti-school choice Republicans from six to two. The millions raised from the wealthy pro-privatization contributors would be used to finance campaigns of voucher supporters and purchase ads attacking opposing candidates.

15109483_10209112500944357_4788014655250467682_nAnd the kleptocracy continues as “Steve Bannon’s data firm in talks for lucrative White House contracts:  Cambridge Analytica is backed by Robert Mercer, whose daughter is on the Trump transition team, while Trump’s soon-to-be chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is on the board”. Republicans aren’t so found of balanced budgets know that the funds are streaming into their billionaire donors’ nasty pocketses.

The data company that helped push Donald Trump to victory is now hoping it will win two lucrative contracts to boost White House policy messaging and to expand sales for the Trump Organization.

Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm that uses personality profiling, claims Steve Bannon as a board member, who will soon officially be Mr Trump’s chief strategist.

The firm is backed by billionaire investor Robert Mercer, whose daughter Rebekah sits on the 16-person Trump transition team.

The news casts further shade over the president-elect’s potential conflicts of interest, after a group of Indian businessmen came to Trump Tower this week and the revelation that Mr Trump’s children, who have sat in on meetings with world leaders, would run his “blind trust”. He has faced increasing calls to divest from his business assets to avoid further conflicts.

The Republican National Committee would have to approve any deals with Cambridge Analytica as it normally pays for White House communication consultants.

Yes folks, the Trump Kleptocracy is resplendent with obvious conflicts of interest.gollum-the-hobbit

In a blatant conflict of interest, President-elect Donald Trump’s new Washington, D.C. hotel is marketing rooms to foreign diplomats looking to curry favor with his incoming administration.

The Washington Post reports that the Trump International Hotel — in the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue that the president-elect’s company leases from the federal government — staged a reception for the diplomatic community on Tuesday, one week after the election.

Several diplomats who attended the reception told the Post that spending money at the hotel is “an easy, friendly gesture to the new president.”

“Why wouldn’t I stay at his hotel blocks from the White House, so I can tell the new president, ‘I love your new hotel!’” one Asian diplomat said. “Isn’t it rude to come to his city and say, ‘I am staying at your competitor?’”

The arrangement violates no ethics laws because the president is exempt from rules barring federal employees from profiting from their positions.

He’s basically going to be impeachable from DAY ONE.542385435ebe363f9eef4016a0f3f197

But he said that the answer would be different if a foreign government sought to make a payment to a sitting president. In a footnote, Mr. Barron added, “Corporations owned or controlled by a foreign government are presumptively foreign states under the Emoluments Clause.”

Mr. Trump’s companies do business with entities controlled by foreign governments and people with ties to them. The ventures include multimillion-dollar real estate arrangements — with Mr. Trump’s companies either as a full owner or a “branding” partner — in Ireland and Uruguay. The Bank of China is a tenant in Trump Tower and a lender for another building in Midtown Manhattan where Mr. Trump has a significant partnership interest.

Experts in legal ethics say those kinds of arrangements could easily run afoul of the Emoluments Clause if they continue after Mr. Trump takes office. “The founders very clearly intended that officers of the United States, including the president, not accept presents from foreign sovereigns,” said Norman Eisen, who was the chief White House ethics lawyer for Mr. Obama from 2009 to 2011.

We’re so completely fucked that there will never be enough lubricant to help us.

I continue to be despondent here in the land of swamps.  Enjoy the last days of the Republic.  We’ll be struggling to keep it from here on out.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Thanksgiving Day Reads

Thanksgiving Day Parade, by Garin Baker

Thanksgiving Day Parade, by Garin Baker

Good Afternoon!!

I decided to stay home today instead of getting together with family and friends. I’m still too traumatized to deal with polite society. Again this morning, I find myself on the verge of tears–and I’ve felt that way since I woke up.

I’m thankful that I still have a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes to wear, and health care if I need it–for now. I’m thankful for my family and that my mom is still with us. I’m thankful for this blog and for the ability to connect with other like-minded people on the internet–for now. Everything is short-term now, because I have no idea what is coming.

All I know for sure is that a minority of U.S. voters have elected a simple-minded authoritarian to lead this country, and that his inner circle is filled with racists and white supremacists. He has named a number of startlingly unqualified people as candidates for his cabinet.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, 1930

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, 1930

Last night the Washington Post revealed that the president-elect has refused to participate in daily intelligence briefings. Apparently he is quite satisfied with his overwhelming ignorance of foreign affairs and national security risks.

President-elect Donald Trump has received two classified intelligence briefings since his surprise election victory earlier this month, a frequency that is notably lower — at least so far — than that of his predecessors, current and former U.S. officials said.

A team of intelligence analysts has been prepared to deliver daily briefings on global developments and security threats to Trump in the two weeks since he won. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, by contrast, has set aside time for intelligence briefings almost every day since the election, officials said.

The Trump team claims their great god-emperor has been too busy selecting incompetent people for his White House staff and Cabinet.

But others have interpreted Trump’s limited engagement with his briefing team as an additional sign of indifference from a president-elect who has no meaningful experience on national security issues and was dismissive of U.S. intelligence agencies’ capabilities and findings during the campaign.

A senior U.S. official who receives the same briefing delivered to President Obama each day said that devoting time to such sessions would help Trump get up to speed on world events.

“Trump has a lot of catching up to do,” the official said.

But the president-elect knows more than the generals do so no big deal according to his staff and many Republicans. Still, let us not forget that ignoring intelligence briefings very likely gave us the 9/11 attacks.

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Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s popular vote lead continues to balloon (Thanksgiving Day parade pun intended). Politico: Clinton’s lead in the popular vote surpasses 2 million.

A series of long-shot bids to reconsider the result of the 2016 election cropped up on Wednesday as Democrats and liberals dismayed by Donald Trump’s victory saw Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote surpass 2 million on Wednesday.

Clinton’s camp and leading Democrats have been entirely silent on the efforts — including a potential request for a recount of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin sponsored by Green Party candidate Jill Stein — further underscoring the unlikelihood of movement on that front. But left-leaning activists were nonetheless temporarily cheered after New York Magazine reported on Tuesday evening that Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign attorney Marc Elias spoke with a group of election lawyers and computer scientists about the possibility that results may have been altered in those states.

The former secretary of state has garnered 64,223,958 votes, compared to the president-elect’s 62,206,395, according to a count curated by Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

Among the potential steps to challenge the results on Wednesday was an announcement from Stein, often a strident Clinton critic, that she would seek to challenge the results in all three of the states if she raised the $2 million necessary to do so. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are traditionally Democrats states that fell into Trump’s column on Nov. 8, and Michigan’s story is similar, though it has yet to be officially called for Trump. As of Thursday mornng, Stein’s campaign had raised at least $2.5 million, according to multiple news reports.

Frankly, I’m not getting my hopes up, but anything that potentially embarrasses the president-elect is just fine with me. Let’s have a recount and a forensic analysis of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida. Maybe Clinton will still win Michigan, but lets have a recount there too. Let the president-elect have all the Twitter tantrums he wants and let’s mock him unmercifully.

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The Atlantic: Hillary Clinton’s Lead Is Greater Than Multiple Former Presidents.’

Clinton’s and Trump’s totals will continue to grow as authorities work through the ballots, the bulk of which are coming from blue states and thus won’t change the election. The counting process will wrap up by the time the Electoral College votes on December 19, said David Wasserman, an editor at The Cook Political Report, which is tracking the count. Wasserman has predicted that when all the votes are tallied, Clinton could be ahead of Trump by approximately 2 percentage points. It could be a little over or a little under, but “I’m confident it’ll ultimately round to 2,” he told me.

But even Clinton’s current lead is noteworthy—or personally painful, depending on one’s political leanings. That’s because multiple candidates in American history have been elected president with far smaller margins than hers in the popular vote. According to figures from the Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections—and as alluded to by one Atlantic reader—they include:

James Garfield in 1880: 0.09 percentage points

John F. Kennedy in 1960: 0.17 percentage points

Grover Cleveland in 1884: 0.57 percentage points

Richard Nixon in 1968: 0.7 percentage points

James Polk in 1844: 1.45 percentage points

If the final vote count does, indeed, put her roughly 2 percentage points ahead of Trump, her margin would edge up against those of winning presidential nominees Jimmy Carter in 1976 (2.07 percentage points) and George W. Bush in 2004 (2.47 percentage points). And all this is not to mention the presidents who’ve been elected without winning the popular vote at all. That’s a list that includes Bush in 2000, and will soon include Trump. As my colleague Ronald Brownstein put it, Trump “is on track to lose the popular vote by more than any successfully elected president ever.”

Three Important Reads for Today (IMHO)

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Barbara Kinsolver at The Guardian: Trump changed everything. Now everything counts.

If you’re among the majority of American voters who just voted against the party soon to control all three branches of our government, you’ve probably had a run of bad days. You felt this loss like a death in the family and coped with it as such: grieved with friends, comforted scared kids, got out the bottle of whisky, binge-watched Netflix. But we can’t hole up for four years waiting for something that’s gone. We just woke up in another country.

It’s hard to guess much from Trump’s campaign promises but we know the goals of the legislators now taking charge, plus Trump’s VP and those he’s tapping to head our government agencies. Losses are coming at us in these areas: freedom of speech and the press; women’s reproductive rights; affordable healthcare; security for immigrants and Muslims; racial and LGBTQ civil rights; environmental protection; scientific research and education; international cooperation on limiting climate change; international cooperation on anything; any restraints on who may possess firearms; restraint on the upper-class wealth accumulation that’s gutting our middle class; limits on corporate influence over our laws. That’s the opening volley.

Wariness of extremism doesn’t seem to trouble anyone young enough to claim Lady Gaga as a folk hero. I’m mostly addressing my generation, the baby boomers. We may have cut our teeth on disrespect for the Man, but now we’ve counted on majority rule for so long we think it’s the air we breathe. In human decency we trust, so our duty is to go quietly when our team loses. It feels wrong to speak ill of the president. We’re not like the bigoted, vulgar bad sports who slandered Obama and spread birther conspiracies, oh, wait. Now we’re to honor a president who made a career of debasing the presidency?

We’re in new historical territory. A majority of American voters just cast our vote for a candidate who won’t take office. A supreme court seat meant to be filled by our elected president was denied us. Congressional districts are now gerrymandered so most of us are represented by the party we voted against. The FBI and Russia meddled with our election. Our president-elect has no tolerance for disagreement, and a stunningly effective propaganda apparatus. Now we get to send this outfit every dime of our taxes and watch it cement its power. It’s not going to slink away peacefully in the next election.

Please go read the whole thing.

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Rebecca Traister: Blaming Clinton’s Base for Her Loss Is the Ultimate Insult.

To say that the past two weeks — past two months, and perhaps two years — have been punishing for America’s women and people of color is surely an understatement.

During the presidential campaign, many Americans, notably those most likely to have voted for Hillary Clinton, were on the receiving end of torrents of vitriol coming from Donald Trump and his supporters: They were caricatured as rapists and criminals, bimbos, dogs, and pigs, and subjected to the humiliation of watching a man repeatedly accused of sexual assault run for president, advised by a cadre of racists adorably referred to as members of the “alt-right,” all while our first black president and first woman nominee were regularly called crooks and threatened with imprisonment and execution.

That man won the presidency, beating the candidate whom the vast majority of black voters, Latino voters, Asian-American voters, and women (if not white women, who voted for Trump by 53 percent) supported.

Those voters watched as Trump promptly appointed white nationalist Steve Bannon as a senior White House adviser and proposed Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, a man once deemed too racist to serve as a judge, to succeed Loretta Lynch as attorney general. They have shuddered as, across America, hateful expressions of white-nationalist victory have proliferated: “You can kiss your visa good-bye, scumbag; they’ll deport you soon, don’t worry, you fucking terrorist,” screamed one man in Queens at a Muslim Uber driver. A dugout wall in upstate New York was decorated with swastikas alongside the words “Make America White Again.” In Ann Arbor, a man threatened to set a Muslim student on fire with his lighter unless she removed her hijab. At Canisius College in New York, students posted photos of a black doll hung from a curtain rod. The nation’s white supremacists have been rolling in their own affirmations of power, while those proven again to have less of it stand witness.

And now, the women and people of color who made up Clinton’s base and were the most enthusiastic supporters of her campaign, the ones who have the most to lose under the Trump administration, have found themselves on the receiving end of the lion’s share of the blame for our recent national cataclysm.

Read the rest at The Cut.

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A speech by Christiane Amanpour at the International Press Freedom Awards.

I never in a million years thought I would be up here on stage appealing for the freedom and safety of American journalists at home.

Ladies and gentlemen, I added the bits from candidate Trump as a reminder of the peril we face.

I actually hoped that once president-elect, all that that would change, and I still do.

But I was chilled when the first tweet after the election was about “professional protesters incited by the media.”

He walked back the part about the protesters but not the part about the media.

We are not there but postcard from the world: this is how it goes with authoritarians like Sisi, Erdoğan, Putin, the Ayatollahs, Duterte, et al.

As all the international journalists we honor in this room tonight and every year know only too well:

First the media is accused of inciting, then sympathizing, then associating–until they suddenly find themselves accused of being full-fledged terrorists and subversives.

Then they end up in handcuffs, in cages, in kangaroo courts, in prison–and then who knows?

Just to say, Erdoğan has just told my Israeli colleague Ilana Dayan that he cannot understand why anyone’s protesting in America, it must mean they don’t accept–or understand–democracy! And he thinks America, like all great countries, needs a strongman to get things done!

A great America requires a great and free and safe press.

Read more at Columbia Journalism Review.

I wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Live for today and plan to fight back when necessary. #Resist!