Friday Reads: And everybody knows about Mississippi goddam

Good Morning Sky Dancers!

A friend and fellow Lousiana muckraker posted one of my favorite Nina Simone songs with an apology to those who might be offended by some of the lyrics. What folks ought to be offended by is the reason it still rings true even though she wrote the song upon hearing about the murder of Medgar Evers decades ago. I’m personally jumping into Mike Espy’s senate race to volunteer or donate because, well, somebody needs to represent all of the people in Mississippi, and since I can’t personally get rid of either of my worthless senators this year, might as well help a neighbor find some justice and peace.

Word around the hill is that the placeholder in the White House realizes the House of Representatives has been hit by a blue wave. Actually, it’s more of a rainbow wave because of the diversity of the incoming freshmen cohert but it will mean that he likely will be held accountable for his wrongdoing and law breaking. The fewer senators he gets provides more hope to gum up the works there too. While the rainbow wave includes a diverse number of democratic women with equally diverse ideas, the wall of white on the Republican side still includes a token murder of Aunt Lydias.

Newly appointed and looking for a voter mandate Senator Cyndy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) needs to be tossed out to show there’s been some change for the better in the state of Mississippi. After enthusiastically saying a few weeks ago that she’d attend a public hanging, we now find out she’s been out on the stump telling white voters that voter suppression is a ‘good thing’ especially for “certain” colleges. Mississippi can still knock the wind out of my sails even though I’ve been down here in the deep south for more than 20 years. There’s no shame among a large group of racists in that state and they’re still in high, high places even though they are low, low, low on humanity.

Here’s some of the latest on that and some other antics of dirty rotten white republican evangelical women doing their Aunt Lydia thing.

Meanwhile, outrageous acts are still resplendent in KKKRemlin Caligula’s reign of hate and ransack. For example, Betsy DeVos believes that victims of false rape charges should be protected in schools. Republican evangelical type white women are the absolute trash of the universe.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Friday released her long-awaited rewrite of rules governing campus sexual harassment and assault allegations, narrowing the cases schools must investigate and giving the accused more rights.

The proposed regulation replaces less formal guidelines created under President Barack Obama that tilt more toward accusers. DeVos rescinded the Obama measure a year ago.

Under the proposal, fewer allegations would be considered sexual harassment and schools would be responsible only for investigating incidents that are part of campus programs and activities and that were properly reported. Accused students would be entitled to lawyers and cross-examination.

“The proposed regulation is grounded in core American principles of due process and the rule of law,” the Education Department said in a summary of its proposal. “It seeks to produce more reliable outcomes, thereby encouraging more students to turn to their schools for support in the wake of sexual harassment and reducing the risk of improperly punishing students.”

In addition, schools are encouraged to offer supportive measures to accusers even if they do not file a formal complaint. The department will not consider a school to be skirting its responsibility to investigate an accusation if instead it offers accusers accommodations such as a schedule change, a no-contact order or new housing.

The rules come after years of rising pressure on universities to better respond to allegations of sexual assault and other misconduct. Ahead of the release, advocates for women and others charged that the rewrite will result in victims’ claims being ignored or minimized.

In other words, please don’t get in the way of future Judge Kavanaughs and their boys will be boys antics. But, while Betsy has little regard for the safety of girls in the country, she fears for her own safety and seems to be surrounded by more marshalls. What is it about the Trump cabinet that they fear constituents?

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos began receiving around-the-clock security from the U.S. Marshals Service days after being confirmed, an armed detail provided to no other cabinet member that could cost U.S. taxpayers $19.8 million through September of 2019, according to new figures provided by the Marshals Service to NBC News.

While it remains unclear who specifically made the request, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions granted the protection on February 13, 2017, a few days after DeVos was heckled and blocked by a handful of protesters from entering the Jefferson Academy, a public middle school in Washington. DeVos was confirmed as education secretary on February 7 of that year.

“The order was issued after the Department of Education contacted administration officials regarding threats received by the Secretary of Education,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “The U.S.M.S. was identified to assist in this area based on its expertise and long experience providing executive protection.”

The cost of security provided to DeVos was $5.3 million in fiscal year 2017 and $6.8 million for fiscal year 2018, according to the Marshals Service — an amount that is ultimately reimbursed by the Education Department. The estimated cost for fiscal year 2019 is $7.74 million.

That far exceeds the $3.5 million spent on security for former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who resigned in July amid questions about lavish spending habits during his 17-month tenure at the agency. An EPA inspector general report, released Sept. 4, found the price tag for Pruitt’s security detail was “not justified” and far exceeded the security costs incurred under past EPA heads.

Typically, cabinet secretaries are protected by security arranged by their departments’ internal enforcement units.

DeVos’s two immediate predecessors at the Education Department, Arne Duncan and John King Jr., each followed that model. Duncan and King, who served under President Barack Obama, were staffed by security agents who would escort them door to door.

After receiving the Marshals’ protection, DeVos spent less than 4 percent of her time visiting traditional public schools in the school year that began in September 2017, according to a tabulation by NBC News and the Watchdog group American Oversight, which was founded by lawyers, including several from the Obama administration, who focus on government ethics and conflicts of interest.

No other current cabinet official has been granted protection by the Marshals, the agency confirmed. In the past, only the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy received a detail from the agency.

A judge just ordered Sarah Huckabuck and her boss to restore CNN’s Jim Acosta’s press credentials. Poor Sarah will just have to put up with a free press and the recognition that the first amendment includes more than her deluded idea that it gives her family a right to terrorize every one with their religious tenets.

A federal judge on Friday granted CNN’s request for a court order that would temporarily reinstate network correspondent Jim Acosta’s White House press pass, which had been suspended indefinitely in the wake of a fiery exchange between the reporter and President Donald Trump a week earlier.

The ruling from Judge Timothy Kelly, who was appointed by Trump, was the first victory for CNN in the ongoing case.

“I want to thank all of my colleagues in the press who supported us this week, and I want to thank the judge for the decision he made today,” Acosta said outside U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

“Let’s go back to work!” he added.

CNN’s lawsuit, announced Tuesday, argues that Acosta’s constitutional rights had been violated by Trump and five other members of his administration, as well as by the U.S. Secret Service. The other defendants include chief of staff John Kelly, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy chief of staff Bill Shine and Secret Service Director Randolph Alles.

In a statement, CNN and Acosta said they “look forward to a full resolution in the coming days.”

No propaganda from the Huckabeast yet. However, Mr. Kellyanne Conaway has a lot to say. Some one in this triangle’s days are numbered.

George T. Conway III, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, said the Republican Party has become “a personality cult” under President Trump and that he would “move to Australia” rather than vote for the president again.

“I don’t feel comfortable being a Republican anymore,” Conway said in an exclusive interview for the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery” about his decision to drop his party registration earlier this year. “I think the Republican Party has become something of a personality cult.”

Asked if he thinks the president is fully stable, Conway responded: “No comment.”

Conway’s remarks came just days after he spearheaded the formation of a new legal group, called Checks and Balances, set up to provide a platform for conservative lawyers to speak out against what he sees as Trump’s violations of “timeless principles” and constitutional norms.

He cited as a prime example a recent Trump tweet criticizing then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions for bringing indictments against two “very popular” Republican congressmen — Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins — on corruption charges “just ahead of the midterms.”

Meanwhile, we’re all supposed to feel sorry for Susan Collins.

“I mean, it’s not fun,” Susan Collins said, sitting in her Senate office on Tuesday. It was her first day back at work following last week’s midterm elections, and the Maine Republican was not quite radiating fresh-start and renewal vibes. “Death threats are not fun. Protests are not fun. Being mobbed — sorry, I know the media hates that word — being mobbed when I go to vote. I do not enjoy that at all. I find that exhausting.”

Returning senators of either party could echo Collins’s despair over the ruptured, strident and increasingly bellicose state of Trump’s Washington; they would also share her foreboding over what’s in store as subpoenas start flying, Mueller Time nears and the president swings into re-election rally mode, probably in the next week or so. But Collins, who is 65 and coming off two of the most punishing years of her Senate career, seems to be entering a particularly grim existential zone.

As both parties have dug in, Collins’s relative independence has made her the perennial “essential vote” on increasingly enormous questions of state. Her openness to bipartisanship has, paradoxically, made her a bipartisan target. Republicans catalogue Collins’s RINO (“Republican in name only”) apostasies, as when she cast one of the three G.O.P. no votes against the Obamacare-repeal bill last year. Democrats hailed her “heroic” and “courageous” vote against the repeal, until she voted in favor of the Republican tax cut; for good measure, many women now regard the Republican, who is in favor of abortion rights, as a leading gender-traitor over her support for the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Collins has been maddening people across the political spectrum for years, of course; the main difference, maybe, is that people are just generally madder now. She represents an almost quaint archetype of the solemn centrist who was always deliberating very carefully over something or other. Her close friend and former colleague Joseph Lieberman was a vintage exemplar of the breed, as was her fellow Maine Republican Olympia Snowe. But these kindred spirits are gone now, Trump has raised the stakes and patience for quaintness has long since expired. People mock Collins for being serially “troubled” or “saddened” by the latest Trump outrage but never sufficiently so to actually do something about it. They accuse her of fashioning a shtick as a free-agent vote because she loves the attention (as opposed to those other senators who hate attention).

So, there are a few headlines on the Mueller probe today. I’m just going to post them because I think we’ll probably hear breaking news on these all day.

The Daily Beast: Top Cheney Aide in Mueller’s Sights as Probe Expands

Darren Samuelsohn / Politico: ‘Preparing for the worst’: Mueller anxiety pervades Trump world

Associated Press: AP source: Whitaker told Graham that Mueller probe to go on

Washington Post: Julian Assange has been charged, prosecutors reveal in inadvertent court filing

Eliana Johnson / Politico: GOP pushes Trump for new attorney general amid Mueller uproar

Never a dull moment these days. I’m still trying to learn how to live with living continual national chaos.

My latest pool question: What outrageously inappropriate thing will Melania wear when visiting California fire survivors?

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

27 Comments on “Friday Reads: And everybody knows about Mississippi goddam”

  1. dakinikat says:

  2. dakinikat says:

  3. joanelle says:

    Nina simone and one of my faves too – it evokes a myriad of emotions in me.

  4. bostonboomer says:

  5. dakinikat says:

    kinda having trouble with this ….

    • NW Luna says:

      Huh. However I saw that Rep Cummings said Pelosi had the expertise and experience to get things done and should be Speaker. I really hope the Dems don’t handicap themselves.

  6. Pat Johnson says:

    And with all the bullshit going on in the world today, someone has decided to drag Monica Lewinsky back into the news to piss and moan about her “affair” of 20 years ago with Bill Clinton. It never ends.

    The “purpose” is to give poor Monica, a willing participant in that so called affair, to discuss her “falling in love” and what it has done to her life. Poor baby!

    She may have been a dumb 21 year old intern but she was wily enough, and persistent enough, to get as close as she could to her “love”, the POTUS. Dumb enough to spill the beans to an older woman she thought was a “friend”, to pour her heart and delusions to without considering the consequences.

    Monica claims to have been “bullied”. To have contemplated “suicide”. Who feels she is owed an “apology” from the Clinton’s after all these years. Enough of her boo hooing over an event that is well passed its sell date, an event that she pursued knowing full well that he was a married man.

    Most people would welcome obscurity. But Monica has proven once again how shameless she is. Grabbing the spotlight to recount a time in her life, and ours for that matter, to rehash a moment that serves no one.

    Oh the times we live in.

    • bostonboomer says:

      She dragged herself back. I’m getting a little tired of her her doing this.

      • Joanelle says:

        I’m sure she was promised more than just a roll in the hay with Bill and found that all promises aren’t always fulfilled.

    • NW Luna says:

      She was an adult. It was consensual. She’s the one who should apologize to Hillary. And why is she retelling and retelling this again? She’d be better off trading publicity for therapy.

      • Sweet Sue says:

        Luna, as far as Media is concerned, Lewinsky is the gift that keeps on giving. She just handed them another stick with which to beat the Clintons. This year, Christmas came early for Cable news! Where is her dignity; where is her self respect?

  7. Enheduanna says:

    Happy Friday Skydancers!

    Dak – I share your luv for DeVos. This post at C&L has a hysterical “separated at birth” graphic of her and Dana Carvey’s Church Lady:

  8. Sweet Sue says:

    I don’t go after people’s looks. After all, who am I to point fingers and, besides, it’s icky but, damn, Hyde-Smith looks inbred AF.

    • bostonboomer says:

      She does. I thought the same thing. Her face is all pushed in as if she lost her teeth. She’s creepy looking.

  9. Enheduanna says:

    You’ve probably seen this – looks like he really does have a problem with events in the rain because of his…

    And they call us snowflakes.

  10. NW Luna says:

    • quixote says:

      I’m so sad and upset about Stacey Abrams not being the next GAGov. I kept hoping she could somehow force them to count the votes fairly enough to cause a runoff, and then have a closely monitored election because she’d win that one big.

      If we had a real Federal government, they’d be all over the massive civil rights violations in this one.

      I admire the hell out of her for fighting against the huge Goliath rigged against her.

  11. NW Luna says: