Monday Reads: America Held Hostage Day 17


Good Morning!

It’s not getting particularly better on the acting presidential front.  The one thing that’s becoming a total scream is that Hair Furor is now taking offense at the suggestion he’s the signing arm of President Bannon.  Little wonder on that front. It appears he wasn’t aware the so-called President put Bannon on the NSC.

Oh, and negative polls are now “fake news”.  Follow the White House twitters for all the alternative facts unfit for any one but, well, they just keep on coming!!!!



16473256_10154440735168512_7345080834352933819_nTrump is not good at much of anything. But, he’s quite good at getting revenge. A lot of his conservative critics are anxiously awaiting being “paid back in spades”.

Though the record is fairly clear when it comes to Trump’s passion for vengeance, it remains an open question whether he actually maintains a comprehensive, up-to-the-minute catalog of the haters and losers he wants to destroy.  (A White House spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment.) It seems unlikely — but, of course, it wouldn’t be a first. Richard Nixon’s aides famously compiled an “enemies list,” the stated purpose of which was to “use the available federal machinery to screw” political opponents. John Dean, the former Nixon White House counsel, told me recently that he’d be shocked if Trump didn’t have something similar on hand. “The envy these men have is blended with their desire for revenge.”

Whether or not such a list exists today, there are clear signs that Trump and his team are keeping track of their enemies. Last month, The Washington Postreported that more than 100 national-security veterans in the GOP establishment are said to be “blacklisted” from administration jobs because they signed a public letter during the campaign opposing Trump’s candidacy. In another episode, the president-elect aggressively campaigned behind the scenes to unseat a state party chairman in Ohio who had fought him during the election.

woody-guthrieThe one thing we do have is a tremendous number of leaks.  He may be shutting off the recorders when he speaks with his other Boss, rasPutin, but his staff leaks the particulars of everything. The interesting thing here is that these leaks appear to be akin to whistle blowing which is really unusual in the early days of an administration.

The breadth of the leaks has surprised — and, of course, delighted — journalists, who say it gives the public an unfiltered view of what those in power are thinking and doing. The leaks of Trump’s calls to Turnbull and Peña Nieto may have been the most surprising of all; it’s rare for transcripts of presidential phone calls or details of meetings with foreign leaders, especially potentially embarrassing exchanges, to leak so soon afterward.

“Given Trump’s erratic nature and lack of experience, especially in foreign affairs, these leaks may be more important than ever,” says David Corn, a reporter with the muckraking Mother Jones magazine. “They give us a sense of how he’s doing his job” and what important advisers such as Stephen K. Bannon and Jared Kushner are telling him to do.

Other reporters say the leaks reflect a certain degree of chaos within the new administration, with factions warily circling one another. At the top of the organization is an executive who has himself flouted White House norms, which may be setting a certain tone. “I tend to think chaos begets chaos begets chaos, and that’s what we’re seeing here,” said a reporter familiar with some of the senior players.

But others see the leaks as whistleblowing — an effort to expose Trump’s initiatives before they become policy.

Another creepy player in the West Wing besides the shadow Putin and Bannon cabal is Stephen Miller.  This dude is a nightmare and was central to the Alt-Right EO banning Muslims from basically powerless countries entry in to the US.

The gossip in Washington is that this is a classic palace intrigue story; two axes of power in a dysfunctional White House, taking aim at each other in the press. The unusual bit is that instead of the same old set of operators, this crew includes nationalist ideologues like Miller and Bannon who took unconventional paths to power. The pair came together over their ideological harmony on immigration, and their background in a no-holds-barred kind of politics aimed at uprooting exactly the kind of Republican Priebus represents: establishment Chamber of Commerce types who, after 2012, tried to push immigration reform and legalization of undocumented immigrants as a way to bring more voters of color into the party.

“You put the ideologues on one side of the office and the statists on the other, what the fuck do you think is going to happen?” asked one source close to Miller, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Miller, this source said, is essentially being outplayed: “He doesn’t know anyone in our world. Reince, of course, knows everybody.”

Leaks out of the administration have also been unflattering to Miller. The explosive lede of a recent New York Times story asserted that Department of Homeland Security chief John Kelly and other top DHS officials were kept in the dark on the executive order until Trump was signing it, and a Los Angeles Timesstory reported that Miller “effectively ran” a National Security Council meeting about the order—an extremely unorthodox move, and one sure to ruffle feathers among more experienced officials. (Miller has denied this.)

16640778_10106902923053895_3100047314322463392_nRobert Kagan–writing for Foreign Policy–suggests we’re backing into World War 3. That’s a frightening thought that haunts me daily.

Think of two significant trend lines in the world today. One is the increasing ambition and activism of the two great revisionist powers, Russia and China. The other is the declining confidence, capacity, and will of the democratic world, and especially of the United States, to maintain the dominant position it has held in the international system since 1945. As those two lines move closer, as the declining will and capacity of the United States and its allies to maintain the present world order meet the increasing desire and capacity of the revisionist powers to change it, we will reach the moment at which the existing order collapses and the world descends into a phase of brutal anarchy, as it has three times in the past two centuries. The cost of that descent, in lives and treasure, in lost freedoms and lost hope, will be staggering.

Americans tend to take the fundamental stability of the international order for granted, even while complaining about the burden the United States carries in preserving that stability. History shows that world orders do collapse, however, and when they do it is often unexpected, rapid, and violent. The late 18th century was the high point of the Enlightenment in Europe, before the continent fell suddenly into the abyss of the Napoleonic Wars. In the first decade of the 20th century, the world’s smartest minds predicted an end to great-power conflict as revolutions in communication and transportation knit economies and people closer together. The most devastating war in history came four years later. The apparent calm of the postwar 1920s became the crisis-ridden 1930s and then another world war. Where exactly we are in this classic scenario today, how close the trend lines are to that intersection point is, as always, impossible to know. Are we three years away from a global crisis, or 15? That we are somewhere on that path, however, is unmistakable.

We’ve got some really strange things going on all over the place.  CNN is actually considering permanently banning White House Mommy over “serious credibility issues”.  Is this the first step at the press finally realizing they fight the propaganda and “alternative facts”?

Over the weekend, CNN pointedly turned down an offer from the White House to have Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway appear on its Sunday shows — and a new report claims that might be a permanent arrangement.

According to the New York Times, CNN executives have “serious questions” about Conway’s credibility, as she has consistently pushed what she herself has called “alternative facts,” such as the nonexistent “Bowling Green massacre” that was roundly mocked last week.

The Times notes that media critics such as New York University professor Jay Rosen have called on networks to bar Conway from their shows due to her repeated use of falsehoods, so it’s possible CNN could be just the first network to decline offers to have Conway on their shows.

c3yqndivcaareg_Evidently, that  wasn’t the first time she inkled Bowling Green Massacre despite her insistance now that it was a momentary word gaffe. Cosmopolitan reports she said it in an interview with them on Jan, 29,  This continues her career of making shit up.

Kellyanne Conway took to Twitter on Friday to walk back her comments on MSNBC’s Hardball about a nonexistent terrorist attack in Bowling Green, Kentucky. However, this wasn’t the first time she used the words “Bowling Green massacre” in an on-the-record conversation with a reporter.

In an earlier interview with, she not only used this same phrase but also went a step further in describing the actions of the two Iraqi men involved in the case to which she was referring.

Defending the president’s executive order banning non-U.S. citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country for 90 days on Hardball With Chris Matthews, Conway invoked what she called the “Bowling Green massacre.”

“I bet it’s brand-new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized, and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre,” she told Matthews.

Neither of these are remotely true. When do Trump Voters finally realize they got played? Fact Checkers and ACLU Lawyers appear to be the only growth industry in the Trumpf World DisOrder.

So, I was working last night and even if I wasn’t, the Super Bowel (sic with a reason) would be the last display of Panem et Circenses that would attract me any way. But, Gaga did a fantastic job which I still haven’t seen but I am giving a nod to with all my Guthrie stuff. Yes, This Land is Your Land is a radical song if you sing all the Lyrics. And Woody Guthrie has a history with the Trumps that’s about as bad as you’d think.

This Land Is Your Land
Pete Seeger
This land is your land,
This land is my land,
From California to the New York Island,
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters,
This land was made for you and me.
As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway,
I saw below me that golden valley,
This land was made for you and me.
I roamed and I rambled, and I followed my footsteps
To the sparking sands of her diamond deserts,
All around me a voice was sounding,
This land was made for you and me.
When the sun came shining, then I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving, and the dust clouds rolling,
A voice was chanting as the fog was lifting,
This land was made for you and me.
One bright sunny morning, in the shadow of the steeple,
By the relief office I saw my people,
As they stood there hungry, I stood there wondering if,
This land was made for you and me.
Was a big high wall there that tried to stop me,
Was a great big sign that said, “Private Property, ”
But on the other side, it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.
Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking my freedom highway,
Nobody living can make me turn back,
This land was made for you and me.
Maybe you’ve been working as hard as you’re able,
But you’ve just got crumbs from the rich man’s table,
And maybe you’re thinking, was it truth or fable,
That this land was made for you and me.
Woodland and grassland and river shoreline,
To everything living, even little microbes,
Fin, fur, and feather, we’re all here together,
This land was made for you and me.
This land is your land, but it once was my land,
Until we sold you Manhattan Island.
You pushed our Nations to the reservations,
This land was stole by you from me

Songwriters: Woody Guthrie

This Land Is Your Land lyrics © T.R.O. Inc.

Vanity Fair mentions how edgy her performance was because it seems to have completely gone over the heads of the MSM. Why do I find myself quoting women’s magazines and Teen Vogue these days for real political analysis. Riddle me that!

According to Guthrie’s son, Arlo, Woody wrote the song in anger as a response to “God Bless America,” written by Irving Berlin, which Guthrie hated. We don’t often sing the latter, angrier verses of This Land in schools—nor did Gaga during the show. But as Arlo told The New Yorker in 2004: “He wanted me to know what he originally wrote, so it wouldn’t be forgotten.” The New Yorker further explains Guthrie’s political evolution:

Guthrie’s inchoate socialist leanings grew into a deep commitment to the labor movement and to the social and political adventurism of the American Communist Party. (Guthrie never joined the Party—his independence was such that he “was not affiliated with anything,” according to his sister Mary Jo; he did follow the Party line, however, down to belittling Roosevelt as a warmonger during the period of the German-Soviet non-aggression pact, and he wrote a column called “Woody Sez,” in hillbilly dialect, for the C.P.U.S.A. organs People’s World and Daily Worker.) The first of Guthrie’s three wives, Mary, lamented his politicization as “his downfall as an entertainer,” and she had a point: the more he focussed on rousing the masses, the less he pleased the crowd. Guthrie’s modest popular following diminished; at the same time, through politics, he found his voice.

Gaga no doubt knew exactly what she was doing when she picked that song to open her performance—and though she may have left the edgier verses out, its inclusion still served as something of dog whistle to the protestors who have been singing it in the street over the past few weeks.

If you want to see what the Drumpfocracy has been up to for the last two week you should check out this list from NPR. Rumor has it NPR has gone over to the dark side.

President Trump’s first two weeks in office have been a sprint, not the start of a marathon. If the rapid pace and, sometimes, hourly developments of executive orders, news, controversies and more have left you exhausted, you’re not alone. If you’re finding it hard to remember just everything that’s transpired too, we’re here for that, too.

Meanwhile, enjoy the day, the now, and Gaga!  We may not have much left of it by summer.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

48 Comments on “Monday Reads: America Held Hostage Day 17”

  1. dakinikat says:

    The big lesson of Trump’s first 2 weeks: resistance works
    Protests, phone calls, and mobilization are making a difference.

    by Matthew Feb 6, 2017

    Not only have the resisters already markedly altered the trajectory of public policy, they have also begun to make a difference in each other’s lives and their own conceptions of themselves. And this is the greatest threat to the Trump movement.

    For the moment, Trumpism holds the vast preponderance of political power despite its thin electoral base. That means Trumpism will make progress, even in the face of effective resistance. But for the positioning to hold, Trump needs to convince his opponents that they are failing, so the prophecy will become self-fulfilling.

    That is why it’s crucial for Trump’s opponents to be aware that protesters’ efforts are not futile. We know they can succeed, because they are already succeeding. What’s needed is for Trump’s critics to continue to resist the siren song of sectarianism and keep at it. If they do, Trumpism will be buried.

  2. dakinikat says:

  3. Jslat says:

    Does anyone else feel like they are watching a very scary version of Wag the Dog? The more unpopular the administration becomes, the closer we are to a war????

    BTW I love the the hat Dak!

  4. dakinikat says:

    Senate Dems will be voicing their dissent for 24 hours. ALL OF THEM.

  5. palhart says:

    I’m surprised, but thrilled, that CNN’s turning down offers for “mommy” to come on their programs and lie. May other media follow suit. I think often about the founding fathers not giving us additional reasons to throw the bums out of office, like certified crazy. If only we had thrown out the electoral college after the Bush-Gore debaucle.

    I read some days ago, to pull comments here together, that trump is organizing his private intelligence and security groups. (Sorry it’s unsourced, but I only read leftist sites and watch the same on tv.)

    I can talk much about WW3 yet because it feels so horribly close.

    • palhart says:

      “I can’t….” It’s too upsetting for me to type correctly.

    • Enheduanna says:

      Yeah apparently Bannon is obsessed with war. That is the very thing the Infowars contingent of their base considers anathema – these imperialist wars the neocons dragged us into. Oh well – guess they got suckered bigly. And it’s their kids that’ll pay the price if one breaks out.

  6. Fannie says:

    Yesterday, CNN was asking the question “how should the media report alternative facts?”………….by telling it like it is, and calling it lies!

  7. dakinikat says:

    Asshole got his fee fees hurt

    Sean Spicer Says ‘SNL’ Is Mean

    White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he thinks Melissa McCarthy’s impression of him in a surprise Saturday Night Live skit was funny, but that the actress could “could dial back” a bit. Spicer said he first heard about the sketch on Sunday while leaving church. He called the impression exaggerated and said McCarthy “needs to slow down on the gum chewing; way too many pieces in there.” His main criticism, however, was that he believes Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of President Trump on the show is too “mean.” He said, “Alec has gone from funny to mean, and that’s unfortunate. SNL used to be really funny. There’s a streak of meanness now that they’ve crossed over to mean.”

    They all must live in fear of Hair Furor’s SNL preoccupation.

    • Mary Brown says:

      That’s almost as funny as the skit! Oh waah.

    • NW Luna says:

      They ain’t seen nothing mean yet.

      Mean is sending refugees back to die.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        The problem has always been that Dems play softball and Repugs play hardball on every issue. Now the Dems are dishing out a little of the Repugs own medicine and they’re all weepy and whining about how the Dems are playing dirty. And fainting over “National security” and pushing fear narratives that spring from their MOOSELAMB hatred. They think they can intimidate and cry foul the way they always do and Dems including YOU/I are going to back down and play by the rules that they apply to us. NOT THIS TIME. They ain’t seen nothing yet.

    • Enheduanna says:

      That was the funniest thing they’ve done in years and McCarthy is funnier than any male comic I can think of. They just can’t help themselves, can they – just say yeah it was funny and then STFU.

    • ANonOMouse says:

  8. dakinikat says:

    OKay Teen Vogue came through

    Photo: Getty Images/Kevin MazurPOLITICS
    If You Think Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl Performance Wasn’t Political, You Missed the Point

    And also: You’re probably straight.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Exactly!!!! LGBTQ folks were tuned in from the first note out of her mouth. This land is your land, this land is my land. Born this way. Embracing a Latino woman and saying “Stay”. She was giving a huge call out to everyone in this country who’s not WASPCS (White-Anglo/Saxon-Protestant-Catholic-Straight). We heard her loud and clear, even before she took the dive into NRG Stadium.

  9. NW Luna says:

    • dakinikat says:

      You notice this always comes from draft dodgers?

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Why yeah! 5 Deferment tRump is overcompensating for something. We should start sending him Viagra labels. Not kidding!!!! We should start a nationwide campaign to call attention to the real problem that makes him so aggressive, intimidating, belligerent, combative, threatening. He needs a gun that works.

        • jan says:

          Such a good idea!! Or some of those single use packets(empty) they are advertising on tv so much. Sending full ones might be illegal, but we definitely need to keep up major protests like the women’s march, raising tons of money for Planned parenthood and the ACLU etc. And we should keep calling the Congress even when an issue is not big time critical.

  10. ANonOMouse says:


  11. bostonboomer says:

    Wife Says Kremlin Critic Diagnosed With ‘Acute Poisoning’; Blood Samples Sent To Israeli Lab

  12. dakinikat says:

    Government by White Nationalism Is Upon Us

    It’s not just rhetoric anymore. It’s a political program that could set American democracy back 150 years.

    Jamelle Bouie

    The ideological leader of the Trump movement is Sessions, hailed by Bannon for “developing populist nation-state policies” from his somewhat isolated perch in the Senate. Bannon, who avoids the spotlight, gives away the game in his praise of Sessions. “In America and Europe, working people are reasserting their right to control their own destinies,” he wrote in a recent statement to the Washington Post, blasting the “cosmopolitan elites in the media that live in a handful of our larger cities.” Given the demographics of Trump’s support—given the demographics of Europe—this definition of “working people” can mean only one thing: white people. And “cosmopolitan elites” has a long history as a euphemism for Jews and other minorities.

    Sessions at least does us the service of being clear about his ideas and priorities. “In seven years we’ll have the highest percentage of Americans, non-native born, since the founding of the republic,” he said in a 2015 interview with Bannon.

    • palhart says:

      I wish he would describe this movement as “white male nationalists” because unlike France all nationalists in power here are male. I also wish he would add women’s potential losses in reproductive and civil rights, especially now that sexual assaultor trump reigns as president. Black civil rights should be upheld, but now is the time to be inclusive of all human rights about to be trampled further by this insecure white male gang stuck in the ’50s — 19th or 20th century.

  13. Pat Johnson says:

    Unreported massacres. 3 million illegal aliens voting. Alt facts. Fake news around low polls. Biggest election day crowds period. Loyalty to Putin.

    Haven’t we reached impeachment level on grounds of mental illness?

  14. dakinikat says:

    Trump as Nero

    Europe Must Defend Itself Against A Dangerous President
    The United States president is becoming a danger to the world. It is time for Germany and Europe to prepare their political and economic defenses.

    It is literally painful to write this sentence, but the president of the United States is a pathological liar. The president of the U.S. is a racist (it also hurts to write this). He is attempting a coup from the top; he wants to establish an illiberal democracy, or worse; he wants to undermine the balance of power. He fired an acting attorney general who held a differing opinion from his own and accused her of “betrayal.” This is the vocabulary used by Nero, the emperor and destroyer of Rome. It is the way tyrants think.

    • palhart says:

      What an outstanding article! I lived with a German family the summer after my college sophomore year. They are a powerful, hard-working, smart people. They should certainly be listened to and their opinions read because of their history with a (Nazi) autocrat and Russian occupation.

  15. NW Luna says:

  16. NW Luna says:

    Keep up the good trouble!

  17. NW Luna says:

  18. NW Luna says:

  19. NW Luna says:

    Woo-hoo! We the People are busy!

  20. NW Luna says:

  21. Earlynerd says:

    I thought this was a good walk-through of the U.S. court system, useful for following the vicissitudes of tRump and his unconstitutional immigrant ban:

  22. quixote says:

    I don’t know if I believe that leak about Gropenfuhrer not knowing he’d put Batboy Bannon on the NSC.

    Oh, I believe he didn’t and doesn’t read the stuff he signs. But I bet he was perfectly fine with whatever Bannon was doing until it made him look stupid. Then he goes into a rage and rants that that’s not what he signed up for.

    He signed up to have the peons constantly burnish the golden calf Trump. They were supposed to get rid of the icky brown people in a way that turned all those human beings into polishing powder.