Monday Reads: Same ol’ Same ol’

Dog Lying in the Snow by Franz Marc, 1911, Städelscher Museums-Verein. This is the artist’s dog Russi.

Good Day Sky Dancers!

There’s some actual news happening which reminds me of the good ol’ bomb bomb bomb Iran days. First, president Joe Biden released the bombers on Iraqi-Syrian militia forces backed by Iran.  The link goes to the Statement of the Department of Defense.

“At President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted defensive precision airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region. The targets were selected because these facilities are utilized by Iran-backed militias that are engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq. Specifically, the U.S. strikes targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq, both of which lie close to the border between those countries. Several Iran-backed militia groups, including Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS), used these facilities.

As demonstrated by this evening’s strikes, President Biden has been clear that he will act to protect U.S. personnel. Given the ongoing series of attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting U.S. interests in Iraq, the President directed further military action to disrupt and deter such attacks. We are in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq for the sole purpose of assisting the Iraqi Security Forces in their efforts to defeat ISIS. The United States took necessary, appropriate, and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation – but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message.

You may read more at the link.  Additionally, the Supreme Court surprised us today by refusing to hear a school district’s case to return to banning transgender students from using bathrooms that do not reflect their sex at birth. Alito and Thomas were–once again–the outliers.

Pluto Aged Twelve by Lucian Freud, 2000, Private Collection. This is Lucian Freud’s Dog.

The most unhappy real news is the huge number of likely evictions once the moratorium on evictions due to Covid-19 expires.  This is from Newsweek. This could be devasting to the economy as well as the lives of 6 million families. Landlords say they can not sustain the financial impact.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on June 24 extended the nationwide ban on evictions from June 30 until July 31, but even with that added time, experts have voiced concern about the estimated 5.7 million to 7 million Americans who owe back rent.

Federal restrictions on evictions for nonpayment of rent took effect soon after the coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020. The first moratorium, which came with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, ran from the end of March 2020 to the end of July 2020.

The CDC put its own evictions ban into place in September 2020. It was set to expire on June 31 before CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced last week that the agency had extended it through July 31.

A federal appellate court ruled on May 5, before the latest CDC extension, that the agency had overstepped its authority with its moratorium. President Joe Biden‘s administration appealed the decision the same day, and the appeal proved successful. However, that legal action shows the difficulty the CDC would face should it try to enact another extension.

Along with the need to curb the possibility of a sudden surge in homelessness throughout the nation, there is evidence showing that housing evictions increase the threat of coronavirus infections spreading, including one lengthy study published in the April issue of Nature.

David Hockney 1995 Dachshunds Dogs Couple Sleeping. These are the artist’s dogs.

The Trump Revenge Tour is turning out to be a disaster.  Even the QAnon quacks are bored. This is also from Newsweek: “QAnon Supporters Express Boredom With ‘Same Old’ Trump Speech: ‘This Is Getting Ridiculous.'”

QAnon supporters, some of whom are the former president’s most fanatical online backers, sent a barrage of messages through the Telegram app that expressed boredom and even anger at the speech Trump described as “the very first rally of the 2022 election.” They blasted Trump for not mentioning how his January 6 insurrection supporters are “rotting in jail.” And numerous others said Trump should be booed by the Ohio rallygoers for even “bringing up the word ‘vaccine,'” specifically because they believe COVID-19 was entirely a hoax.

But a majority of the top QAnon user comments simply expressed their outright boredom with Trump’s post-election stump speech, in which he baselessly claimed to have won in November 2020 and blasted any dissenting GOP members as “traitors.”

“I’m 100% with the dude, but literally switched from his speech 3 mins ago. Im [sic] done with his speeches,” wrote QAnon user Jacob.

“Judging by the Trump-supporting normies I live with, they were bored with his speech,” wrote another QAnon user. “I support Trump but this is getting ridiculous.”

Funny, I don’t see any Trump supporter as a normie. The outspoken Illinois Republican Congressman who is the target of the Trump Revenge Tour spoke out.  This is from CNN; “Republican lawmaker calls Donald Trump a ‘loser president.'”  You may watch the interview at the link.

Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) gives his thoughts on the state of the Republican Party, speaking truth, and former President Donald Trump as he hits the road again at rallies.

Le Chien (The Dog) by Pablo Picasso. The artist’s dog is named Lump.

Ivanka may have found herself in hot water already. This is from David Corn, writing for Mother Jones. “Documents Show Ivanka Trump Didn’t Testify Accurately in Inauguration Scandal Case. She said she played no role in planning inaugural events. These records suggest otherwise.”

During a December 1 deposition—in which she swore to tell the truth—Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter of Donald Trump who was an executive at the Trump Organization before becoming a White House adviser to her father, was asked if she had any “involvement in the process of planning the inauguration.” She replied, “I really didn’t have an involvement.” Ivanka testified that if her “opinion was solicited” regarding an inauguration event, she “would give feedback to my father or to anyone who asked my perspective or opinion.” And that was as far as her participation went.

But this wasn’t accurate, according to the documents, which indicate she was part of the decision-making for various aspects of the inauguration, including even the menus for events.

One email chain shows that Ivanka Trump was directly involved in the planning of at least one proposed event for the inauguration. On November 29, 2016, Rick Gates, then the deputy chairman of the Presidential Inauguration Committee (known as the PIC), emailed her the current schedule of inauguration events. He noted that Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a lead producer working with the PIC, “is going to call you to discuss some additional ideas she has about some other events that we would like to see if you would be willing to do based on our meetings.” Ivanka replied to Gates and Winston Wolkoff, “Great. I am looping in my assistant Suzie who can coordinate a time for us to connect.”

A few days later, Winston Wolkoff sent a long “Dear Ivanka and Jared” email to Ivanka Trump and her husband. She thanked them for “our meeting yesterday” and presented them with a “high-level summary” of the inauguration plans “for your review.” This was a detailed report on the assorted events and themes being created for Trump’s inauguration. The “overarching strategic objective,” she reported, was “reinforcing” the theme “With the People: Making America Great.” She laid out “key” messages, including “Our greatest strength is our people” and “Americans deserve to be heard, and their government needs to listen.” She noted that in their recent meeting, she and Ivanka Trump had discussed how to include Donald Trump’s “constituency” in the events, and Winston Wolkoff referred to proposals for doing so. This included inviting “families from all 50 states to attend official functions” and provide them “Airfare. Accommodations. Hair & makeup.”

In this email, Winston Wolkoff also asked Ivanka to confirm that she would host a “Women’s Entrepreneurs Reception/Dinner” as part of the inauguration. “Please let me know who…you would like invited,” she added. And she asked whether Ivanka Trump would prefer for the event to be hosted at the National Museum of African American History or the National Gallery of Art. Winston Wolkoff also attached to the email the communications strategy for the inauguration, the proposed event schedule, and a list of the “100 most influential women in Business, Philanthropy, Fashion, Politics and Finance.” She ended the note saying she would “follow up” with them “at TT”—a reference to Trump Tower.

Archie by Andy Warhol, 1976, Private Collection. Another artist with paints his dachshund.

The POS never falls far from the asshole.  Speaking of the former guy, HuffPo reports he’s totally deranged over the Bill Barr Image Recovery Tour and book interview. He also takes a swipe at Mitch McConnell. Frankly, I don’t think they give a damn, my dear. “‘Utterly Deranged’ Trump Has Full Meltdown Over Bill Barr, Mitch McConnell.  The former president attacked the two key figures who enabled his agenda, calling them “spineless RINOs.”

Donald Trump issued a lengthy and rambling statement late Sunday attacking two of his staunchest allies during his one term in office.

Trump called former attorney general Bill Barr and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “spineless RINOs” (Republicans in Name Only) after Barr told The Atlantic that Trump’s constant claims of election fraud were “bullshit.” Barr also told the magazine that McConnell urged him to “inject some reality” into Trump as he repeated debunked claims of election fraud and baseless conspiracy theories last winter.

McConnell confirmed that account, the magazine reported. That was enough to trigger the former president.

The only weirdo afraid of him appears to be the Florida Governor who would like to be the next Emperor with no clothes.  But enough of that!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


17 Comments on “Monday Reads: Same ol’ Same ol’”

  1. bostonboomer says:

  2. bostonboomer says:

    • dakinikat says:

      I was trying to get through the paywall for that.

      • quixote says:

        Turn off scripts, if you can, dak. Especially the one for nymag.com. That usually deals with the problem. Depending how you do it, you block images too then, but can at least read the article.

    • quixote says:

      From the article,

      Early in Trump’s presidency, aides noted that a second-floor office, where the likes of Stephen Miller and Kellyanne Conway worked, meant a degree of exclusion but also protection: Trump would never climb the stairs

      (It also obviously worked. Two of the longest-lasting aides.)

  3. bostonboomer says:

  4. dakinikat says:

    Youtube is going on my list for this:

    • Enheduanna says:

      I am admittedly a Youtube addict, but they’re awful about allowing bogus animal “rescue” videos by people endangering puppies and kittens in order to solicit donations. Their algorithms seem to be OK otherwise where I’m concerned – I make a point of letting them know when I’m Not Interested in a wingnut video. I watch mostly cooking, history and astronomy/physics videos.

  5. bostonboomer says:

  6. bostonboomer says:

    This story is horrifying. Fantastic work by this writer.

  7. NW Luna says:

    Love the dog paintings.

    OTOH, not happy with the Virginia decision. It’s not a ban on transgender students; they can use the bathrooms of their sex. Now girls will be denied privacy as boys use the girls’ bathrooms. (Most trans-identified males do not have plastic surgery aka bottom surgery aka castration/orchiectomy and penile inversion.) Somehow it’s always girls and women who have their rights and same-sex spaces invaded when it comes to trans “rights.” Human rights don’t include invading the privacy and dignity of others.

    • quixote says:

      Hear, hear. I wonder how long it’s going to take the US to catch up to the UK one more time. The Magna Carta was several hundreds of years before the Constitution 😦