Tuesday Reads

Good Morning!!

I am completely burned out on politics today. I can’t handle any more Trump madness. It makes me feel sick even to type his last name. I can’t stand anymore Hillary bashing. I don’t really care that much for Elizabeth Warren, but I’m fed up with the attacks on her family stories. I can’t stand the media focusing on these meaningless stories and ignoring the administration’s failures to help hurricane victims and it’s torture of immigrant children and their families.

Ever since the Kavanaugh confirmation, I can barely stand to watch cable TV. Reading about politics makes me angry and depressed. I really think this state of mind is going to be with me until election day at least. I wonder if there is any chance that we as a country can come out of this dark tunnel into the light of democracy?

Here’s what’s happening. A New York Times financial reporter posted this tweet:

So far the tweet has received 1.4K replies and only 33 retweets and 116 likes. At least this ratio shows that lots of people thought the tweet was offensive and ridiculous. But why are people still relitigating something that happened 20 years ago, and why are they blaming Hillary, who was actually the victim in the events? Why is it strange that a woman would refuse to attack the husband she obviously loves?

Here’s another one–also from a woman in the media:

Sigh . . . I can’t stand any more of this. When I finish this post, I’m going to read novel and pretend everything is OK, just for today.

From The Daily Beast: Trump Hangs ‘Tacky’ Fantasy Painting of Himself With GOP Presidents in White House.

President Trump’s latest addition to White House decor is a kitschy fantasy painting that shows him relaxing with Republican presidents of the past—an update to a best-selling image commonly found in tourist gift shops and online galleries.

The print, “The Republican Club” by Andy Thomas, could be seen in the background of a photo tweeted by 60 Minutes, which aired an interview with Trump on Sunday night.

It shows a slimmed-down Trump sandwiched between Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, directly across from Abraham Lincoln. Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and both Bushes are also in the imaginary scene.

Amateur art critics sneered on social media that the artwork was “tacky,” “a travesty,” or “blasphemy.” Some said it looked like the political version of the famous “dogs playing poker” painting.

Here’s the painting:

 

 

Trump also has a framed map of his electoral college win hanging in the White House. He’s so embarrassing.

In more serious news, Trump is still defending the Saudis for murdering a Washington Post journalist. CNN: Trump suggests ‘rogue killers’ behind Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance.

President Donald Trump suggested Monday that “rogue killers” could be behind the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, after a phone call with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman about the case.

Trump told White House reporters that Salman offered him a “flat denial” in relation to the disappearance of Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who was last seen in public when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in Turkey on October 2.

Later Monday, the Saudis were preparing to admit that Khashoggi died during an interrogation that went wrong, one that was intended to lead to his abduction from Turkey, according to two sources.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left Washington for Riyadh at around midday to meet with the Saudi King on Trump’s orders.

Previously, Saudi authorities had maintained that Khashoggi left the consulate the same afternoon of his visit, but have provided no evidence to support the claim. Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside the consulate, says she did not see him re-emerge.

Pompeo is in Saudi Arabia right now, and judging by the photos I’ve seen and reports of his meetings with King Salmon and his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Pompeo didn’t even give the Saudi rulers a stern talking to. In fact, they are both grinning ear-to-ear in all the pictures.

CNN: Pompeo meets Saudi King as Khashoggi family calls for inquiry into ‘death.’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks with top Saudi leaders Tuesday as sources told CNN that the Kingdom is preparing to acknowledge that missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi died at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Pompeo had a short discussion with King Salman before a longer meeting with the King’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler. US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo “thanked the King for his commitment to supporting a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation” of the Khashoggi case and expressed “concern” about the case to the foreign minister.

Nauert described the meetings as “direct and candid.”

Pompeo meets King Salmon

CNN’s sources say Saudi Arabia plans to contend that the Washington Post columnist died when an interrogation went awry, but there was no public mention on Tuesday of any new Saudi explanation of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Meanwhile, back in Turkey:

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkish officials, who searched the consulate for nine hours on Monday, are looking into “toxic” and “painted over material” as part of their investigation. “My hope is that we can reach conclusions that will give us a reasonable opinion as soon as possible, because the investigation is looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over,” Erdogan told reporters.

Kashoggi’s family wants and international investigation. I doubt if Trump and Pompeo will support that.

Business Insider: Saudis reportedly preparing to claim Jamal Khashoggi was killed as a result of a botched interrogation.

The Saudi government is preparing to a release a report claiming that the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed as a result of a botched interrogation, CNN reported on Monday, citing two sources.

The interrogation was reportedly supposed to lead to Khashoggi’s abduction from Turkey. CNN described one source as saying the report is likely to claim that the interrogation was conducted without clearance or transparency.

In other words, he was tortured to death by “rogue” operators. Yeah, right.

The Washington Post Editorial Board points out that the U.S. really doesn’t need Saudi Arabia for anything –although Trump and Jared Kushner may be concerned about personal losses to their  businesses interests.

…it’s worth considering just how much the United States might have to lose if its relationship with Saudi Arabia ruptured. What about that oil, and the $110 billion in arms purchases Mr. Trump keeps talking about? What about the war on terrorism?

Start with the oil. Saudi Arabia, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, supplied 9 percent of U.S. petroleum imports in 2017, or about 960,000 barrels a day. But thanks to the shale revolution, the United States is essentially energy independent: It, not Saudi Arabia, is now the world’s largest crude-oil producer. Last year, U.S. daily oil exports averaged 6.38 million barrels, or nearly seven times the Saudi imports. If the Saudis cut back production or boycotted the United States, they could temporarily drive up prices, but the beneficiaries would be U.S. shale companies, which over time would fill the gap — and deal a devastating blow to the Saudi oil industry.

Jared and Ivanka with MBS

As for arms sales, someone needs to brief Mr. Trump on the actual results of the promises made to him when he visited Riyadh last year. As Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institution sums it up, “The Saudis have not concluded a single major arms deal with Washington on Trump’s watch.” Moreover, an end to supplies of U.S. spare parts and technical support, something Russia cannot provide, would quickly ground the Saudi air force. That would have the welcome effect of ending a bloody bombing campaign in Yemen that a U.N. investigation concluded was probably responsible for war crimes.

Saudi Arabia does supply the United States with counterterrorism intelligence. But as Andrew Miller of the Project on Middle East Democracy points out, stopping it “would be a colossal error . . . when there’s already a strong perception in Congress and with Americans that Saudi Arabia has fueled extremism.” Mr. Miller notes that a law passed by Congress in 2016 opens the way for civil suits against the Saudi government for any terrorist acts it enables.

The reality is that Saudi Arabia, which, as Mr. Trump himself has crudely pointed out, would not survive without U.S. security support, has everything to lose from a break in relations, while the United States no longer needs the kingdom as much as it once did. Mr. Trump has overvalued the relationship and encouraged Saudi leaders to believe they can behave recklessly and even criminally without consequence.

So all the concern from the administration must be about Trump’s and Kushner’s private finances. That is just sickening.

One more story before I escape into my book.

The Washington Post: ‘Blue wave’ or ‘left-wing mob’? Anti-Trump fervor fuels a new movement aimed squarely at winning elections.

If the Nov. 6 midterm elections turn into what many Democrats hope will be a “blue wave,” swamping Republican majorities from Congress to state legislatures nationwide, it will have been powered in part by a new and sprawling network of activists on the left who, like Wilburn, have leaped into action over the past two years — energized by their deep desire to thwart the rise of Trump and his agenda.

Like the conservative tea party groups that rose up after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 and that helped Republicans retake the House and gain power in state legislatures in 2010, this new liberal movement has emerged largely outside the traditional party structure.

It is led by hundreds of thousands of mostly white, college-educated, middle-aged women who trace their inspiration to the inaugural women’s marches in January 2017 and whose ambitions have only grown amid a succession of disagreements with Trump, including over the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Read the rest at the link. If anyone saves this country from Trump it will be women.

What stories are you following today?

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55 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    I hope you all have a nice day doing something you enjoy.

  2. bostonboomer says:

  3. Riverbird says:

    I feel exactly the same as your first paragraph. I’m going to try to keep politics out of my head starting two days after the mid-terms and lasting until late February. I’m not sure how to do this, but I need a break for my mental health.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    The NYT has two fascinating stories today about how cold case crimes are being solved and people are learning about their family histories through DNA-sharing websites.

  5. dakinikat says:

    She took the tweet down with a pic of it and an apology. Good grief that was an entirely new level of Assholiness.

    • NW Luna says:

      Navarro or Flitter? I used to like Ana Navarro but her “come to Jesus” tweet shows how in 2018 some people still can’t tell the difference between a consensual sexual activity between adults vs sexual assault on a minor. Why don’t Navarro or Flitter go after Melania for Trump’s behavior?

  6. OG says:

    Sipping coffee at Barnes & Noble. Having a good day.

  7. RonStill4Hills says:

    When are these people like Ana Navarro going to acknowledge that the way Hillary is rated is unfair and that an unacceptable double standard exists that exposes malignant misogyny.

    If they want to follow Bill Clinton 24/7 demanding apologies and whatever they think they are due, so be it, but how can a woman who claims to give a shit about women continue to condone this sadistic ongoing assault by the media?

    They know hey aren’t going to hear anything new, it is just a variation on “shut up and dribble.”

    “Go away Hillary, you stood by Bubba.”

    Even with Adolph Twitler in the White House Clinton Derangement Syndrome Trumps all.

    • NW Luna says:

      …how can a woman who claims to give a shit about women continue to condone this sadistic ongoing assault by the media?

      Spot on!

    • jayn says:

      I’m mad about it because Hillary did face it. She and Bill Clinton had marriage counseling in the WH during the impeachment. I heard them talk about it. They each had separate sessions and joint sessions. It saved their marriage. And I believe Bill has not strayed since. Also I saw him speak after she got the Senate seat. He was so proud he glowed. You could see he loved her. And loved her in the way to let her be her own person, which you don’t see with these republicans and their wives.

  8. Pat Johnson says:

    I am totally in sync with you: not sure how much more I can endure.

    Voter supression, sexism, anything Trump related.

    Been reading a lot and watching Netflix and Amazon as an escape.

  9. NW Luna says:

    DNA testing may show relationship to close relatives, but is it really that accurate for ethnicity?

    DNA companies differ on ethnic results.

    DNA companies measure a minuscule percentage of the human genome and determine results by comparing someone’s DNA to a proprietary group of samples they have collected. Depending on the makeup of those samples, DNA companies will miss some regions and populations of the world and overrepresent others in their pool.

    [DNA Diagnostic Center] results, which are estimates, I am 87 percent Caucasian and 13 percent sub-Saharan African. …In my case, the company said while the “maximum likelihood estimate” is that I’m 13 percent sub-Saharan African, I could also be as low as 3 percent or as high as 23 percent.

    [Ancestry.com] results claimed I am 100 percent Caucasian, with 37 percent from Ireland/Scotland/Wales, 28 percent from Europe West (Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg), 11 percent Europe South (Italy and Greece), 10 percent Europe East, 5 percent Great Britain, 3 percent Finland/Northwest Russia, 3 percent Iberian Peninsula, 2 percent Scandinavia and 1 percent European Jewish.

    But I was shocked yet again when, close to publication, Ancestry.com changed its estimates of my ancestry, concluding I was no longer Italian/Greek, Eastern European, Finnish, Iberian or Jewish. … “More data and new methods of DNA analysis have given us a better picture of which DNA sequences are — or aren’t — associated with specific world regions. … New data indicates that a region does not belong in your results,” it stated.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m tired of the Warren bashing too. I wish she hadn’t done this, but let’s keep in mind that she went to a professional lab and had the results analyzed by one of the top scientists in the field. She isn’t claiming a tribal identity.

      • Peg says:

        As far as I’m concerned she can pack up her presidential ambitions
        and go home. Hillary knows what a tightrope a woman candidate
        walks. Warren will never recover from this – allowing Trump to
        goad her. She and Bernie Sanders should just go and get a room…

        • quixote says:

          As Charles Pierce points out (link somewhere in the last post…) not replying to insults hasn’t exactly worked either. Exhibit A: swiftboating Kerry. Exhibit B: examples too numerous to list for Hillary.

          Warren is a very capable nemesis for the Repubs. Don’t fall for the usual misogynistic attempt to say, “Oh. (I think) she made a mistake. It’s all over.”

          It doesn’t get done to men. Exhibit A: Bernie. B: Biden.

      • NW Luna says:

        Oh, she’s been clear about not claiming a tribal identity. However even one of the top scientists in the field couldn’t give anything but a wide range for the percentage.

        I posted that excerpt and link because it’s common for people to assume all the results are accurate and the same from any company offering testing. The science is not refined enough and results depend on what’s in their databases.

        Close kin is a different matter than remote ancestors — results of analysis with close kin are far more accurate.

        • quixote says:

          Indications of close relationship are more accurate because the probability of chance matches is so low. If there’s a one in a billion probability that a match could be random and not indicative of anything, it probably ( as in 999,999,999:1,000,000,000) does show relationship.

          If the whole genome were sequenced, and IF we knew all the markers of ethnicity, that could be predicted with high certainty too. Instead, different companies sample different segments of DNA (often because patent issues prevent them from sampling the same ones) which leads to somewhat different results. When your chance of getting a random match is 1 in 100, you have way less certainty than 1 in a billion. Plus, we don’t have a complete understanding of the whole pool of variation in different ethnicities.

          I.e., it’s not that DNA is poor at showing the different strands of one’s ethnicity. It’s that we barely have a clue what we’re doing in that respect.

          • NW Luna says:

            That’s why I said the science is not yet refined enough and results depends on what’s in the company databases.

    • Enheduanna says:

      I don’t see anything wrong with Warren trying to push back on tRump’s vile racism and exposing his lies (about the bet). She’s also defending her family’s honor. I just don’t see anything to criticize there, especially in comparison to tRump’s antics. We all have family lore that is almost certainly only partially correct. In this case, Warren and her family are being honest about the family lore whether that was passed down 100% correctly or not. Bottom line – she has native blood whether it’s Cherokee or not and whether it’s one drop or a gallon.

      And who the FK still calls them “Indians” besides our sharpest tool in the WH ever……….

      • quixote says:

        (Actually, from quite a few that I met when living in OK, they preferred “American Indian” to a lot of the neologisms. Nothing is really right, so why not stick with the old term was their reasoning.)

        Agree that there is nothing wrong with Warren shoving Dump’s BS in his face. The fact that there is so much BS that needs shoving and prioritizing is his fault, not Warren’s.

        • NW Luna says:

          “American Indian” is what many prefer in the NW, too. I’ve heard it explained as because all of us who are born in America are of course native Americans.

          Use of the term “indigenous” is problematic as its definition is “originating in and characteristic of a particular region or country.” Tends to bring the same problems as “native” does — in fact “native” is often given as a synonym for “indigenous.” As far as “originating in,” the American Indians came from Asia along the coastal “kelp highway” into North America, then continued into Central and South America. I’m an English major and a writer (amongst other things) so accurate word usage can be a big thing for me. (Contradicted by that sloppy analogy.)

  10. NW Luna says:

    I feel the world is becoming a drearier and grimmer place every day. I also wait and want November to give us positive results such as a majority in the House. In the meantime I’m reading (non-news) much of the time.

  11. NW Luna says:

    That “Republican club” painting is ridiculous. Richard Nixon would tell Trump his healthcare plans suck (Nixon’s ideas on healthcare were more liberal than what’s in the ACA), and tell him schmoozing with the Russians is treason. Eisenhower would tell Trump that monopolies and the military corporate state are dangerous and abhorrent. Lincoln would verbally lash him in multisyllabic words for cutting funds to the VA and for insulting Gold Star families. Teddy Roosevelt would haul Trump out on a week-long horseback ride and then pulverize him (if he wasn’t already) for daring to screw with our national parks.

  12. Gregory P says:

    I find it baffling that these heretics can still be agog over a consensual sexual relationship decades ago when the guy they chose and love lied us into a war of choice using propaganda and manipulation that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dead. The fact that they think that having legal sex between adults is somehow worse than killing people is just unfathomable to me. What it shows to me is that they are vile racists who are nothing more than Christian heretics.

    • quixote says:

      Ah, but your priorities are completely foreign to them. You think the bottom line is people should not be harmed. They think that might makes right. Specifically, their right to all the might. People dying if they don’t kowtow is just a side effect.

      It’s a different universe with different constants. No meeting point between theirs and ours. That’s worth understanding because it saves you from wasting time on useless quests. You might as well work on explaining quantum mechanics to a chicken.

  13. bostonboomer says:

  14. bostonboomer says:

    • Gregory P says:

      That has always been their plan. Always. Somebody dreamed this up many decades ago probably at the Heritage Foundation or other evil think tank and they’ve endeavored to get this done ever since. They’ve been putting up propaganda for decades saying that SS was going to go broke so the younger people wouldn’t be enraged when they finally do accomplish their goals.

      • NW Luna says:

        With this line of thinking they’ll soon say auto insurance is welfare since people should be able to pay for their own accidents. Of course, the rich can do this.

        What happened to “Keep guvmint out of my Medicare!” Attacking Medicare and Social Security may even backfire with the 30% of voters who are Trump’s base.

    • quixote says:

      Indeed. This ought to be in every newscast, every ad, everywhere! This and the vote suppression are the two issues that actually matter in this election.

      (And climate change, but we can’t do anything about that until we win elections.)

  15. Sweet Sue says:

    Jesus Christ, what do these people want from the Clintons? As I remember it, Bill Clinton went on a year long, non stop apology tour. What do they want him to do? Cut his balls off on “Meet The Press?”

    • RonStill4Hills says:

      Correct.

      And when will they stop infantilism Monica. She was a woman who made a choice. Respect it. I understand the power dynamic, and the inexcusable inappropriateness of seducing a subordinate, but there is a universe of difference between a star stuck subordinate charmed by an powerful older DOG, and a girl drugged or forced into a bed with a hand over her mouth.

      Monica chose to be involved with Bill Clinton. He WRONGLY chose, in a monumental display of bad judgement, to take advantage. But I HONESTLY and NON-PARTISANLY think that what they let Kavanaugh get away with is worse.

      You cannot negate the other person’s choice, especially when that choice is NO!

      This will sound harsh but I am starting to think that the only recourse for women when “Johnny” won’t take no for an answer is to stab “Johnny” through the heart.

      Easier to explain why “Johnny” is lying dead on the floor with his pants around his ankles, than it is to explain why you waited to come forward and face the inquisition.

      “I told him to stop but he made me help him.”

      Works for me.

      • NW Luna says:

        So it must be Melania’s fault that her husband fucked all those other women. Oh, wait…where are the headlines on this?

      • Sweet Sue says:

        Agree with everything you just wrote, Ron. We have to learn to live with nuance and gradation or will be in Robespierre world and I don’t want to be there. I’m all for women carrying weapons-especially guns. In fact, I think that women should be the only people allowed to own and carry guns.

      • NW Luna says:

      • OG says:

        I have no problem with that. But it will be a jury question about whether the story is believable.

        And I hear killing people can give you nightmares. But so can getting raped. Possible prison sentence is probably the best choice. A the knife lower. That would be more satisfying and possible prison sentence shorter. Good trade off.

  16. dakinikat says:

    Why are we talking about this right before the mid terms?

  17. NW Luna says:

    Watch out for older women!

  18. NW Luna says:

  19. NW Luna says:

    Nancy. Gets. Shit. Done.