Mos’ Scocious Monday Reads

Hi Sky Dancers!

Well, we made it through the first week of 2018 with just a series of Trumper Tantrums and nothing too life threatening.  This month ends with the SOTA. I seriously doubt I’m up to watching it but we’ll see.  Trump’s alleged first trek afterwards will be to to gratify himself before example wall parts. His obsession with things of certain shapes is completely Freudian.

President Trump plans to visit the concrete-and-steel prototypes of his beloved border wall in San Diego after his State of the Union address on Jan. 30, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Trump insiders say that as they think about 2020, no promise is more vital in Trump Country. He can’t blame Democrats for the fact that there’s not a wall — he has to find a way to deliver one. It was such a central and symbolic promise that there’s no averting your gaze from it.

The wall rhetoric and reality are as removed from each other as sanity and KKKremlin Caligula’s thought processes. To many, deportation is a death sentence as shown by this New Yorker article.

When Donald Trump announced his bid for the Presidency, he made anxieties about whiteness under siege a signature part of his platform. On the campaign trail, he promised to “deport all criminal aliens and save American lives.” After his Inauguration, the Department of Homeland Security created an office for the victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, called voice—Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement. The office is compiling an online database to track “illegal alien perpetrators of crime.” (Data show that immigrants actually commit crimes at lower rates than U.S. citizens.) There is, however, no White House initiative to track a more sprawling set of legal violations involving immigrants—violations for which the U.S. government is largely responsible.

In the past decade, a growing number of immigrants fearing for their safety have come to the U.S., only to be sent back to their home countries—with the help of border agents, immigration judges, politicians, and U.S. voters—to violent deaths. Even as border apprehensions have dropped, the number of migrants coming to the U.S. because their lives are in danger has soared. According to the United Nations, since 2008 there has been a fivefold increase in asylum seekers just from Central America’s Northern Triangle—Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador—where organized gangs are dominant. In 2014, according to the U.N., Honduras had the world’s highest murder rate; El Salvador and Guatemala were close behind.

Politicians often invoke the prospect of death by deportation in debates about the fate of these immigrants and others with precarious status, like the Dreamers. In February, 2016, in a speech criticizing the lack of legal representation for Central American children seeking refuge, Harry Reid, at that time the Senate Minority Leader, warned Congress, “Deportation means death for some of these people.” That summer, Senator Edward J. Markey, of Massachusetts, told the press, “We should not be sending families back to situations where they can be killed.” He added, “That’s just un-American.”

These conversations have been largely theoretical, devoid of names and faces. No U.S. government body monitors the fate of deportees, and immigrant-aid groups typically lack the resources to document what happens to those who have been sent back. Fear of retribution keeps most grieving families from speaking publicly. In early 2016, as the director of the Global Migration Project, at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, I set out, with a dozen graduate students, to create a record of people who had been deported to their deaths or to other harms—a sort of shadow database of the one that the Trump Administration later compiled to track the crimes of “alien offenders.” We contacted more than two hundred local legal-aid organizations, domestic-violence shelters, and immigrants’-rights groups nationwide, as well as migrant shelters, humanitarian operations, law offices, and mortuaries across Central America. We spoke to families of the deceased. And we gathered the stories of immigrants who had endured other harms—including kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault—as a result of deportations under Obama and Trump.

Budget negotiations between Congressional Republicans and Democrats are seriously broken and caught in the middle are America’s Dreamers.  This should be a no brainer since even hard line anti immigrant activists support a some path that lets these 800,000 kids and young adults stay.

As Congress and the White House negotiate a deal to legalize nearly 800,000 undocumented DREAMers brought to the U.S. as children, they aren’t facing the usual pressure from hard-line groups lobbying for lower immigration levels.

“Rip off the Band-Aid and give them a green card,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, one of the groups that usually mobilizes against any effort to grant what they call “amnesty” for anyone who entered the country illegally.

Congressional leaders have until Mach 5 to restore deportation protections and work permits for DREAMers after President Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program established by President Barack Obama.

Roy Beck, who has led NumbersUSA for over 20 years and jokes that the organization is known as the “great anti-amnesty organization,” said: “We’re open to it.”

And Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said members of Congress wouldn’t face major backlash from his group’s supporters if they balance a DACA solution with extensive improvements to immigration enforcement.

One such drastic step to remove economic and political refugees from problems due to an earthquake is this action today. “Trump Administration Ends Temporary Immigration Status For 200,000 Salvadorans. The decision to end TPS also will affect their 192,000 US-citizen children.”

Nearly 200,000 Salvadorans who’ve had temporary permission to live in the United States for the past 17 years will have until Sept. 9, 2019, to leave the US or face deportation, the Trump administration announced Monday.

The Salvadorans become the latest group of foreigners to lose what’s known as Temporary Protected Status after spending years in the United States because of natural disasters in their home countries. The Salvadorans were granted TPS after a pair of 2001 earthquakes slammed the country.

“Based on available information the secretary determined that the conditions supporting El Salvador’s TPS designation on the basis of environmental disaster, specifically the devastation cause by major earthquakes in 2001, no longer exist,” a senior Department of Homeland Security official said.

In recent weeks, the Department of Homeland Security also has announced an end to TPS for about 60,000 Haitians and 2,500 Nicaraguans. However, DHS postponed a decision on 57,000 Hondurans.

Salvadorans make up the largest group with TPS and have about 192,700 US-citizen children, many of whom are likely to be forced to leave with their parents to resettle in a country they’ve never lived in.

Last week Salvador Sánchez Cerén, the president of El Salvador, asked Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to once again extend TPS, arguing that even if the US decides to send Salvadorans back it would give the government time to prepare to receive its compatriots.

In making the decision to end TPS Nielsen looked at whether conditions specific to the pair of 2001 earthquakes had improved and whether El Salvador was prepared to take back the nearly 200,000 people, a senior DHS official said.

Gang violence plaguing the country was not a factor in deciding whether to end TPS. Once their protections run out in 2019, the Salvadorans will be eligible for deportation. The US State Department currently has a travel advisory for El Salvador citing “high rates of crime and violence.”

These folks and their children will be uprooted from their lives to a chaotic country.  San Salvador–its capital–is also the murder capital of the world.  The gang MS-13 is responsible for a lot of deaths both there and here.

Over the past 20 years, MS-13 and its rival, 18th Street, have carved up territory in Central America, said a federal law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“If you grow up in one of these havens, that’s it. You are MS because your father was MS and your grandfather was MS,” he said. “And for you to be able to walk down the street and get a Coca-Cola or what have you, you have to make sure you are part of something so you’re not preyed upon. That’s their safety net.”

In these gang-controlled neighborhoods, satanism persisted.

“What the two gangs do have in common is the belief that life and death are somehow intermingled,” Pablo Trincia wrote in the Independent. “This belief partly explains the bones and devils tattooed on their bodies, as well as their satanic rituals, such as hacking a victim to death and scattering the organs on the ground in a pentagonal shape.”

As MS-13 violence returned to the United States with a vengeance in the mid 2000s — including a spate of high profile murders in the Washington region — so did reports of the gang’s satanism.

“The brutality of the gangs’ crimes is increasingly horrific,” the Los Angeles Times reportedin 2004. “Homicide victims, including many women and teenage girls, often are found so mutilated that Spanish priest Jose Maria Morataya, who runs a San Salvador rehabilitation and job training center for former gang members … suspects that some gang members practice satanic rituals.”

A year later, the Virginia Gang Investigators Association hosted a seminar for law enforcement officials on MS-13 and satanism.

Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech for Life Time Achievement at The Golden Globes has many people inkling her name as a presidential candidate.  Here’s the introductory part of the speech. The full transcript is at the link.

In 1964, I was a little girl sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother’s house in Milwaukee watching Anne Bancroft present the Oscar for best actor at the 36th Academy Awards. She opened the envelope and said five words that literally made history — “The winner is Sidney Poitier.”

Up to the stage came the most elegant man I ever remembered. His tie was white, his skin was black, very smooth since he uses the derma roller amazon — I’d never seen a black man being celebrated like that. I’ve tried many, many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl, a kid watching from the cheap seats as my mom came through the door bone-tired from cleaning other people’s houses.

But all I can do is quote and say that the explanation [is] in Sidney’s performance in “Lilies of the Field,” ‘Amen, amen. Amen, amen.’ In 1982 Sidney received the Cecil B. Demille Award right here at the Golden Globes, and it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award.

Oh, by the way, the Goddess gifs are available here from Nina Paley. There are 24 of them and they’re great!   You can see them rock out while playing Dr. John below.  They’re kinda trippy like the Night Tripper!

Michael Wolff’s book and narratives continue to dominate the political press.  Wikileaks has offered it up free in PDF format.  I’m not sure if that’s to take money from Wolff or what.  Trump Defender–the truly bizarre Steven Miller–was on CNN this weekend with Jake Tapper.  He was thrown off the air and then out of the building.

White House adviser Stephen Miller was escorted off the set of CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday after a contentious interview with host Jake Tapper.

Two sources close to the situation told Business Insider that after the taping was done Miller was asked to leave several times.

He ignored those requests and ultimately security was called and he was escorted out, the sources said.

CNN declined to comment.

Miller’s appearance on the cable network quickly went off the rails when Tapper pressed him on explosive claims about President Donald Trump that appeared in the book “Fire & Fury: Inside The Trump White House” by Michael Wolff.

Miller repeatedly attempted to pivot the conversation toward criticism of CNN, a favorite target of Trump’s. He then referred to Trump as a “political genius” and lamented his treatment during the interview, leading Tapper to reply that there was only “one viewer you care about right now.”

“I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time. Thank you, Stephen,” Tapper said, bringing the interview to an abrupt end.

Shortly after the interview ended, Trump tweeted, “Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration.”

Then, Bannon made a complete ass and ass kisser 0f himself trying to get back into the good graces of money and power.  He mea culpea’d to everyone that would listen.

Steve Bannon expressed regret Sunday after he created a furor with comments critical of President Donald Trump’s family in a new book, dragging the controversy into its fifth day as the White House kept up its attacks on both the former chief strategist and “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff.

“Donald Trump, Jr. is both a patriot and a good man. He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around,” Bannon said in a statement. “I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr has diverted attention from the president’s historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency.”

I really don’t know how much more of these people I can take.

Need to ask you to feed the kitty a little this month so we can keep the fancy Designer Font for Sky Dancing.  The price has gone up and I’m torn between keeping it and letting it go. Problem is that I really like it!  So, if you can donate a little that’s about all it would take.

Anyway, let me know what’s on your reading and blogging list today!!!


50 Comments on “Mos’ Scocious Monday Reads”

  1. Sweet Sue says:

    I’m sure that Oprah gave a rousing speech but please, Dear God, the last thing this we need is another celebrity President. Just say no.

    • dakinikat says:

      I know. I crave policy competency right now and we’re going to need insiders to bring competent civil servants into government toundo the damage done. Love her but we need wonks right now badly.

      • NW Luna says:

        Me three. We need a policy wonk, especially after all the damage the current White House occupant is doing and will do before he’s perp-walked out.

        • dakinikat says:

          I’d be thrilled if she’d run for Congress. I’d be thrilled to phonebank for her but really, we need some one able to undo stuff and get things through Congress.

        • Catscatscats says:

          Me four but no one wonks like Hillary.

          • NW Luna says:

            *sniff* Yes. In 2020 she’ll be younger than Biden or Sanders.

          • Joanelle says:

            Yes, we NEED wonky Hillary more than anything or anybody. If anyone can figure out how to get us out of this mess it’s Hillz.

        • quixote says:

          Um, she thought Schwarzenegger, better known as The Gropinator, was the one to endorse for Gov of California, instead of whoever the Democrat was.

          If she were to be elected, she’d be 500x more competent than the tweeting bumper car fantasia that we have. I’d vote for her against whoever the Repubs put forth. (Not saying much. I’d vote for the eastward end of a west-facing horse if it had a D after its name.) But I wouldn’t donate time or money to her. She’s a Repub-lite opportunist.

          Which, again, is light years better than what we have, but I hope that’s not the choice we get.

    • Catscatscats says:

      No longer a fan (circa 2008). IIRC, she told Hillary, on one of her shows, that she would support her if she ran for Prez, because hey she was a qualified woman. We all know what happened when “the one we have been waiting for” came on the scene. No thanks. I only heard a small portion of her speech. I thought she was speechifying like the Obamas. I guess candidates must now follow the Obama and/or trump playbooks to get in the Oval. Forget the slippery slope, we are sliding into a crevasse.

      • Enheduanna says:

        She lost me then too unfortunately. I don’t think she’s a bad person and she had every right to support Obama – but I think her judgement is a little suspect (Drs. OZ, Phil and The Secret come to mind).

        I also have a hard time with the whole O magazine thing in which she puts her picture on every single cover.

        • Catscatscats says:

          I would have preferred that she kept her promise to Hillary even if it was contingent on Obama being her VP and heir apparent. I am sure Hillary understood why she did it, just as she undersood Lewis’ loss of support for her in 2008. (I aways wondered who MLK would have stumped for and voted for had he still been with us.) I do admire and respect Oprah for what she has endured, overcome and accomplished. She earned all the money, fame and good will that she has now, but she isn’t remotely qualified for the job of Prez. At this rate, i don’t think i will vote at all. Trump vs Oprah? The country will be so broken by that time, neither of them will put it back together.

          Agree about the mag covers, that always bothered me too.

      • quixote says:

        (Hah. I should have read a bit further. My comment just above is pretty much seconding you two.)

      • Mary Luke says:

        We are halfway down the crevasse. I can’t being myself to support Oprah. She gave a speech against sexual abuse? I guess she conveniently forgot that Phil McGraw had to give up his license to practice in Texas long before she put him on the air as a result of a complaint of abuse from a female patient. How would she vet a Secretary of Defense or a National Security chief?

    • dakinikat says:

  2. palhart says:

    Miller is the Lee Atwater of this Republican regime. When I scanned his bio, I found that Atwater was a senior partner of the Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly political consulting firm after the 1984 Presidential election.

    The GOP was the party of hate before becoming the party of “no”. Over the Camp David weekend, the high-ranking Republicans kissed off DT until they need him to sign a bill. Now he keeps “executive hours” from 11 to 6, when he leaps into bed with cheeseburgers to phone and twit. I feel so safe and secure!

  3. NW Luna says:


    Mueller indicates he will likely seek interview with Trump as part of Russia probe

    Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has raised the likelihood with the Trump legal team that his office will seek an interview with the president. The special counsel’s team could interview Trump within weeks on some limited portion of questions, a person close to the president said. Mueller brought up the issue of interviewing Trump during a late December meeting with the president’s lawyers.

    • palhart says:

      I have grave doubts that DT will testify before Mueller and his top attornies. DT’s attornies know they can’t control him or curb his responses. Of course, he could merely repeat that there was no collusion a hundred times. Rather than answer questions, he goes off subject and flits around.

      • NW Luna says:

        He’d blather on about what he did and how yuuugely smart it was and how it was nothing wrong and incriminate himself.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    The gifs are wonderful! Thanks.

  5. dakinikat says:

    The Year Climate Change Began to Spin Out of Control (MIT)

    For decades, scientists have warned that climate change would make extreme events like droughts, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires more frequent, more devastating, or both. In 2017, we got an up-close look at the raw ferocity of such an altered world as high-category hurricanes battered the East and Gulf coasts, and wind-whipped fires scorched the West (see “Did Climate Change Fuel California’s Devastating Fires? Probably”).

    We’re also seeing with greater clarity how these dangers are interlinked, building upon one another toward perilous climate tipping points. And yet for all the growing risks, and the decades we’ve had to confront them, we have yet to address the problem in a meaningful way (see “Trump’s Five Biggest Energy Blunders in 2017”).

    In fact, despite all our climate policies, global accords, solar advances, wind farms, hybrid cars, and Teslas, greenhouse-gas emissions are still moving in the wrong direction. And as long as we’re emitting any at all, we’re only making the problem worse.

    Here are the five most worrisome climate developments we saw in 2017.

    • quixote says:

      “we got an up-close look at the raw ferocity of such an altered world”

      Not quite, Tech Review. What we’re seeing are the little baby problems, just getting started.

      If we don’t begin a global effort on the scale of working to win a global war — and there’s no sign of that yet — in fifty years, or maybe twenty, people be laughing that we thought we had it bad when there were only three hurricanes going at once..

      • NW Luna says:

        Professor Mass knows climate change is real and is happening, but is irritated that it’s supposed to be causing events that are well within the usual range of weather and climate. There have always been ups and downs in meteorological events — humans have short memories. There’s plenty that is caused by climate change without stretching facts and thus weakening our claim to be evidence-based.

        Did Global Warming Produce Drying That Led to the [California] Fires?

        The simple answer is no. Coastal California has dry summers because the jet stream goes far north during the warm season and they don’t have many thunderstorms because of the relatively cool Pacific. So grasses, shrubs, and other fuels will be dry by the end of summer and during fall, no matter what. And even if the fuels weren’t dry, they would dry within hours of the initiation of strong, offshore winds–which accompany virtually every major fire event.

        So even if the summer/fall temperatures rose and the conditions dried further under global warming, IT WOULD NOT MATTER. Without any additional warming, the fuels in late summer and fall are dry enough to burn over coastal California and always have been. There is a large number of papers in the scientific literature that state this fact (Keeley and Fotheringham 2003; Keely et al., 2004, Abatzoglou and Kolden 2013, Keely and Syphard 2016). And one might note that the recent fires were actually associated with cool air and temperatures dropping into 30sF at night.

        So if the summer/fall precipitation and temperatures are not important, what about the quantity of fuels?

        This year there was a bountiful crop of grass in southern/central coastal California because last winter was so wet. And there a number of studies that document that heavy precipitation the winter before results in more grasses that contribute to wildfires the next summer and fall.

        There is NO reason to expect global warming has or will provide southern California with MORE winter rain. Here is the winter precipitation trend from the latest U.S. national assessment (last 30 years minus the first half of the century). Very small changes, with varying sign over coastal CA.[chart at website]

        • NW Luna says:

          Climate change nerds interested in more on predictions may like Dr. Mass’s discussion at this link. Localized to PNW, but it’s the same complex process as in any other region.

        • quixote says:

          I’ll have to dig up the link (I think it was a government outfit) tabulated the frequency of severe weather events. Floods, fires, droughts, storms. And they’re going off the charts. So, yes, no single event can be blamed on climate change, but the statistics of a reasonable sample is unequivocal in pointing at the culprit.

          (I know you know all that, Luna. Just clarifying my point.)

          • NW Luna says:

            I’d like to see that. In some areas the weather is definitely changing with climate change. Other areas are not affected or only slightly. Curious if you read the above two articles?

          • quixote says:

            It was the American Meteorological Society: Explaining Extreme Events from a Climate Perspective. BAMS special report presents assessments of how human-caused climate change may have affected the strength and likelihood of individual extreme events.

            I read Cliff Mass all the time. He’s brilliant. And the two posts you linked are excellent.

          • NW Luna says:

            Thanks for that AMS link, quixote. I’ve only read (tbh, skimmed most of it) one report, on the Jonas snowstorm. That appeared to conclude that the Jonas storm was not related, but there was a pattern of colder temps during snowstorms with slight increases in temp during other esp rainy events, and the latter phenomena could be related to climate change. Overall a nuanced report.

            I think now I see where you’re coming from. There is in many areas definite links between various events and climate change. My gripe is when people put everything that’s slightly unusual down to climate change, such as the CA wildfires which were not related to climate change.

            Science. It’s complex.

  6. dakinikat says:

  7. dakinikat says:

  8. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      …prays for deaths of liberal justices…

      Well, that’s right Christian of him. Yup, Jesus said “Don’t turn the other cheek, pull our yer AK rifle and blast ’em.”

  9. NW Luna says:

    Answer: Of course.

  10. RonStill4Hills says:

    The dancing goddesses are amazing.

  11. palhart says:

    Last night on “The Last Word” with Michael Wolff as guest, in an old clip, Trump said he loved Oprah and, if he ran for president, she would make a great vp. If interested in the race, I’m sure Oprah would never consider any such nonsense as she has creds and support for the top job. Even though I too crave wonks to lead us out of this present chaos, I reacted to Trump’s assumption that Oprah would “jump” at the chance to run with him.

    Wolff also discussed Trump’s habit of getting his best friends’ wives in bed by inviting their husbands to his office and asking them about their sex lives with the wives listening in on speaker phones. A disgusting boy/man!