Tuesday Reads

AP photo of Assassination of russian ambassador in Turkey

AP photo of Assassination of russian ambassador in Turkey

So . . . It’s Tuesday

As usual these days, the news is not good. tRump will be POTUS in one month, and it’s very hard to imagine how our country survives as a democratic republic. All I can do is cling to hope that something will prevent this monster from becoming Hitler 2.0. It also looks like instability is going to keep rising around the world, and that too is a reaction to tRump–either directly or indirectly.

I’m also dealing with my housing situation and I’m basically paralyzed with fear and anxiety. I can’t recall the last time I felt so overwhelmed. It was probably back when I was at the worst of my drinking. I’m trying my best to focus on one day at a time, but it’s not easy.  I am going to move into the apartment I told you about, but the money I will have to live on is going to be more limited than it was for me where I am now. I’m feeling a lot of shame about being so poor. But I really have no choice about doing this. I will have to be very careful about what I spend on food. I’m feeling so emotional right now; I keep crying out of the blue. I guess it is the shock of having to move after all these years and not really knowing how I’m going to manage it.

Anyway, sorry to burden you all with my problems. Since I already shared what is happening, I felt I had to provide an update. I hope in time, I’ll be feeling a lot better about all this. This will be mostly a link dump, because I have to go sign my lease and deal with other stuff today.

The events that took place yesterday in Turkey and Germany are incredibly disturbing, because we will have an insane POTUS dealing with these kinds of attacks. And that follows on the incident with China a few days ago which was very likely a response to tRump’s foolish phone call with Taiwan and his ridiculous twitter comments. Here’s the latest.

The Washington Post: An assassination and a gunman’s final words put Turkey on edge.

A team of Russian detectives arrived in Turkey on Tuesday to join the investigation into the slaying of Moscow’s ambassador by a Turkish police officer — an act portrayed by both countries as an effort to rupture a rapprochement between the two regional powers backing opposite sides in Syria’s civil war.

The attack Monday also touched off sweeps across Turkey as authorities hunted for clues in the life of the 22-year-old gunman, who decried the violence in Syria after pumping several bullets into the ambassador at a photo exhibit.

Russia is a key ally of Syria’s government while Turkey has been a stalwart backer of rebel factions, although both nations have worked together on a plan to evacuate civilians and opposition fighters from their last enclave in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo.

Officer Mevlut Mert Altintas gunned down Ambassador Andrei Karlov as the diplomat spoke before an exhibition of Russian photos at an art gallery in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

After killing the ambassador, Altintas, an officer with the riot police, denounced Russia’s role in the Syrian war, screaming: “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria!” He was later killed in a gun battle with the police.

Truck plows into crowded Christmas market in Berlin

Truck plows into crowded Christmas market in Berlin

NBC News: Berlin Truck Attack: Pakistan Migrant Is Christmas Market Suspect.

BERLIN — A migrant from Pakistan was identified Tuesday as a suspect in a truck attack on a crowded Christmas market in Germany’s capital, but police said it was still unclear if he was the main perpetrator.

The man was arrested not far from the scene of Monday night’s carnage, which left 12 people dead and wounded nearly 50 others.

He entered the country last year and had applied for asylum, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said, adding that other people may be involved.

The suspect in custody has denied responsibility.

Berlin police chief Klaus Kandt told reporters: “We are not sure if the suspect in custody is the right man … in fact, in my view it is still not certain whether he really was the driver.”

A temporary accommodation center for migrants was raided overnight by special operations police, but no further arrests were made.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has faced political pressure over open-arms policy for refugees, earlier said it would be “hard for us all to bear” if the perpetrator “was someone who sought protection and asylum.”

Of course tRump will see this as ammunition for his war against immigrants.

On the corruption front, tRump’s conflicts of interest get worse and more frightening by the day.


Think Progress: Under political pressure, Kuwait cancels major event at Four Seasons, switches to Trump’s D.C. hotel.

The Embassy of Kuwait allegedly cancelled a contract with a Washington, D.C. hotel days after the presidential election, citing political pressure to hold its National Day celebration at the Trump International Hotel instead.

A source tells ThinkProgress that the Kuwaiti embassy, which has regularly held the event at the Four Seasons in Georgetown, abruptly canceled its reservation after members of the Trump Organization pressured the ambassador to hold the event at the hotel owned by the president-elect. The source, who has direct knowledge of the arrangements between the hotels and the embassy, spoke to ThinkProgress on the condition of anonymity because the individual was not authorized to speak publicly. ThinkProgress was also able to review documentary evidence confirming the source’s account.

In the early fall, the Kuwaiti Embassy signed a contract with the Four Seasons. But after the election, members of the Trump Organization contacted the Ambassador of Kuwait, Salem Al-Sabah, and encouraged him to move his event to Trump’s D.C. hotel, the source said.

Kuwait has now signed a contract with the Trump International Hotel, the source said, adding that a representative with the embassy described the decision as political. Invitations to the event are typically sent out in January….

The apparent move by the Kuwaiti Embassy appears to be an effort to gain favor with president-elect through his business entanglements, and it appears to show Trump’s company leveraging his position as president-elect to extract payments from a foreign government. The latter, according to top legal experts, would be unconstitutional and could ultimately constitute an impeachable offense.


NPR Morning Edition: Trump’s Doral Golf Course Highlights His Conflicts Of Interest.

President-elect Donald Trump has financial stakes in hundreds of companies. But one line of business is particularly important to him: golf courses.

He owns more than a dozen courses, which provide the Trump Organization with major streams of revenue and bolster his “luxury” brand image.

But they also created conflicts of interest. As president, he will be able to steer environmental and labor policies that could boost the income from his golf courses.

Take Trump National Doral. It’s a huge luxury resort near Miami, and it provides a good example of how Trump’s role as president and as businessman will come into conflict….

But at Doral, and for clubs and golf courses around the country, new labor regulations promoted by the Obama administration are having an impact on how they do business. And many course owners aren’t happy.

Brad Steele explains why. He’s the general counsel with the National Club Association, a trade group that represents country clubs and golf courses. Steele says the recession was tough on golf courses, and the recovery hasn’t been easy. “The last eight years have been relatively difficult for… the private club industry,” he says.

Among the labor rules Steele and his members are most concerned about is one that greatly expands the number of workers eligible for overtime pay. It’s been criticized by business groups and Republicans in Congress, and was recently put on hold by a federal judge.

It’s a rule that Steele thinks will be targeted by the new administration. “We are excited that now there’ll be an administration that starts to look a little more … critically at the impact that these kinds of things can have on business,” he says.

Read the rest at the link.

And then there are the gobsmacking cabinet appointments.


Catherine Rampell at The Washington Post: Trump’s OMB pick seems poised to ignite a worldwide financial crisis.

Over the weekend, President-elect Donald Trump tapped Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) to be his director of the Office of Management and Budget. This Cabinet-level post is responsible for producing the federal budget, overseeing and evaluating executive branch agencies and otherwise advising the president on fiscal matters. It’s a position with tremendous, far-reaching power, even if the public doesn’t pay much attention to it.

Which is why it’s so concerning that Trump chose Mulvaney, who seems poised to help Trump ignite another worldwide financial crisis.

Mulvaney was first elected to Congress in 2010 as part of the anti-government, tea party wave. A founding member of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, he is among Congress’s most committed fiscal hawks. He has repeatedly voted against his own party’s budget proposals because they were insufficiently conservative.

All this will presumably put him at odds with Trump’s plans to balloon federal deficits through a $7 trillion cut in individual and corporate income taxes, another half-trillion in infrastructure subsidies and other major spending expansions.

It’s unclear how Trump’s fiscally profligate platform meshes with Mulvaney’s preference for penny-pinching. He might push back on Trump’s most expensive ideas. Maybe he’ll employ accounting gimmicks and magic asterisks to force Trump’s numbers to add up. Trump’s campaign advisers have already been doing this, disingenuously claiming that his policies will pay for themselves through unrealistic economic growth.

Or maybe Mulvaney’s job will simply be to convince the rest of the Freedom Caucus to stay mum when deficits explode.

Read the rest at the WaPo.

More news, links only:

Mother Jones: Trump’s Budget Director Pick Spoke at a John Birch Society Event.

Politico: Gingrich: Congress should change ethics laws for Trump.

The Hill: Gingrich suggests Trump pardon advisers who break the law.

Media Matters: Alex Jones Warns Trump That The CIA Is Trying To “Assassinate” The President-Elect.

Talking Points Memo: GOP Rep’s Vision Of Post-ACA World: You Wait To Treat Your Kid’s Broken Arm.

Center for Public Integrity: Donald Trump’s sons behind nonprofit selling access to president-elect.

Haaretz: With Donald Trump, Netanyahu Sees Opportunity for ‘Historic Changes’ for Israel.

What stories are you following today?

30 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. dakinikat says:

    I had a horrible nightmare last night and my tormenter was Orangeholio. It was like the kind of nightmares I used to have coming out of my divorce when I finally realized gaslighting wasn’t just something done in movies and two women where empowering him. What on earth did my brain do to conjure up that?

  2. janicen says:

    I’m sorry about all of your stress, bb. This is not a good time to have additional worries and financial worries can be debilitating. I hope you can find some peace during this difficult transition. Since you are being forced to downsize, maybe you can enlist your nephews to help you sell items on Craig’s list or some other local web service. I wouldn’t do it alone, but if your nephews are there to help it might work. Are they old enough or if not, maybe your brother?

    • Sweet Sue says:

      BB, you’ve done so much for your family; now, let them do whatever they can for you.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Yes Ann, I agree with Sue on this. Look to your family for support. I’m glad you have somewhere to go…I hope it is at least comforting to know you will have a place of your own. Love you babe.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks guys. I’m back and feeling better. I signed the lease and I got parking stickers until I can get a spot in the parking lot at my building. My brother paid for that and for the January rent.

      • Enheduanna says:

        BB- best wishes to you and sending kind thoughts your way. I am using my time off to clean house and straighten up clutter which has overwhelmed my two back rooms. I plan to start 2017 as fresh and organized as I can. I do not expect we will see good news on the public front for some time but at least we can try and make our day-to-day the best we can.

        I am also hoping for some schadenfreude along with the shit next year. I just hope no one gets hurt.

      • Sweet Sue says:


      • Fannie says:

        Sweet brother! Wish I lived nearby to help you, we all would, you know that. I am moving in April or May…….my lease is up, and I’m out, but stay in Idaho. I miss California.

      • janicen says:

        Good for him! I know that’s a relief!

  3. janicen says:

    Well it looks like Trump and company will be aiming at restricting LEGAL immigration. This is so wrongheaded. It will only criminalize more people but that’s probably their point.


  4. NW Luna says:

    BB, your heart is in the right place and you are a worthwhile person, irregardless of income and assets. Would you think less of one of us for having little money? No. So there is no shame. The #tRumpists and their ilk want to squash us, and belittle us for poverty, but it is they who should feel shame for their heartlessness.

    • purplefinn says:

      I agree. Well said!

    • roofingbird says:

      Yep, I was about to give you a set to on that comment about being ashamed. Do I have remind you about what taking of others does to our piggybank on a portion of a man’s dollar? You are living the real dream, girl. We all are going to wind up with less than we hoped for financially. Be proud that you did your best, had a career, helped others, got clean and sober, survived and write us every day on this wonderful blog! This change is going to free you up, even if finances are tight.

    • NW Luna says:

      Obviously partisan as all hell.

      The essence of the warrant application is merely that the FBI has discovered new emails sent between Clinton and Abedin. That’s not enough. The idea that the mere existence of emails involving Clinton may be evidence of a crime is startling, said Ken Katkin, a professor at Salmon P. Chase College of Law.

      “The warrant application seems to reflect a belief that any email sent by Hillary Clinton from a private email server is probably evidence of a crime,” Katkin said. “If so, then it must be seen as a partisan political act, rather than a legitimate law enforcement action.”

      The warrant never should have been granted, attorney Randol Schoenberg argued. “I see nothing at all in the search warrant application that would give rise to probable cause, nothing that would make anyone suspect that there was anything on the laptop beyond what the FBI had already searched and determined not to be evidence of a crime, nothing to suggest that there would be anything other than routine correspondence between Secretary Clinton and her longtime aide Huma Abedin,” Schoenberg wrote in an email. “I am appalled,” he added, noting that the name of the agent in charge had been redacted in the copy of the document publicly released.

      Katkin agreed. “This search warrant application appears to have been meritless. The FBI should not have sought it, and the magistrate judge should not have granted it,” he said.


  5. William says:

    Hillary Clinton was the victim of a political lynching. And that is no pun on AG Lynch, though she and President Obama did not protect her from it. It should now be abundantlly clear that the FBI never had any case against her whatsoever. There was to be the usual review of the emails of a State Department employee (the kind that Colin Powell avoided by deleting all of his, which earned him three electoral votes from Sanders supporters), and somehow Comey turned it into his own criminal case. There was no authorization from anyone to conduct a criminal inquiry. There was no evidence whatsoever of any criminal activity. The FBI does not get to investigate cases it invents with no probable cause, But they did here. The reason? Well, it is obvious; it was a partisan political witch hunt conducted by the FBI, which obviously is the police arm of the Republican Parry.

    Comey milks everything he can out of this illegal investigation. Then his henchmen grab Weiner’s laptop, with no valid warrant. There was no probable cause of a crime, thus no legitimate search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. But they grab it, hang onto it for a month, and then Comey writes his letter to his buddies in Congress, again intended only to damage Hillary. This entire thing was a cooked-up plot against Hillary. But the media never once questioned any of it. They were too overjoyed at the excitement of being able to attack and ridicule her. No one ever questioned exactly what the FBI was trying to supposedly investigate, or what right they had to take the computer. The media completely failed the country, but I guess it succeeded in doing what its right-wing owners wanted.

    At this point, it is pretty clear that we do not live in a free country. This is to me the worst thing that has ever happened politically in this country. It was a concerted and planned coup conducted by people who intend to create a tryrannical state. The FBI acted like the Gestapo in Nazi Germany. The media acted like the mouthpieces for dictators. The President and Attorney General were so concerned that the right-wing fanatics and their media collaborators would brand them as partisan, that they neglected to protect the constitutional rights of Hillary Clinton. And not one media person, not one Democratic political figure, ever thought to ask to see the warrant. Only Mr. Schoenberg, a brave and caring person who was one of the two heroes of “The Woman in Gold,” who fought against Nazi sympathizers and historical revisionists in Austria, stepped up to do what was crying out to have been done. And of course they’ll bury it, the Republican tyrants and the worthless media. We have seen the absolute stealing of an American election through criminal actions. We have seen the things that the American colonists fought so valiantly to overcome, and then embedded protections against in our Constitution, be completely and contemptuously trampled upon. What is that document worth now.

    I realize that it is very unlikely that Hillary will ever run for President again. But I truly hope she does, and I would support her over any other candidate. And one of the most important reasons, apart from her many gifts and attributes, is that her being elected is the only way that this tragedy can be at least somewhat made right. Corey Booker, or Chris Murphy, or anyone else, is not going to fix this horrible travesty of rights and justice, which will forever tarnish this country’s history and claim to moral legitimacy. Only a Hillary electon and presidency could do that.

  6. NW Luna says:

  7. NW Luna, I love that chalk board! William, in addition to all that you write, I feel Clinton was pounded into the ground as a woman and I don’t know that she could win again. It just feels as if the relentless agreement not to allow a smart and gifted woman to shine won’t let up. From Bernie Bros electors switching their votes from her to one media pundit after another claiming she was a weak candidate, ran a weak campaign (and I just heard Bill Maher say the same thing on an otherwise interesting video interview), it feels like an ugly assertion of revisionist history to my sensibility and is demoralizing. I recognize that she won the popular vote and against all that was stacked up against her. But to lose to Trump! Even with trickery, Russian intervention, misinformation, voting irregularities and suppression, I still find losing to Trump just unbelievable and a terrible indicator of the level of our national state of being. I am heartened by all the revulsion and opposition to Trump that is being expressed but also can’t believe that Obama and others wouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t act in a timely and effective way. I apologize for sounding like a broken record on this. I agree that our country is possessed by undemocratic forces and momentums–and people. And I worry that the opposition to this will be scattered and broken up under this realization. It would take some very obvious fighting leadership to rally us. Paralysis won’t do. Can’t fire Comey because Trump will appoint a fascist to head the FBI. But then we can’t do anything to Comey and the NY FBI contingent? Maybe delegitimization of Trump and the Repubs will grow and that will be ok. But it doesn’t feel like enough. It feels like the experiment of our republic is in an about-to-fail moment and it has to be addressed at that level. Not sure how. Abolish the electoral college and cripple this administration and then have a great turnout in 2018? Maybe.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Thanks for your encouraging words, Sky Dancers. I’m feeling a lot better this morning.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      BB……I’m glad things are beginning to level out for you and you’re feeling better. It’s not easy making changes when you get older. I’m glad your brother is with you and that you have found an apartment where you are comfortable and safe. I keep you always in my good thoughts.

      Peace & Love to you,