Posted: February 19, 2017 Filed under: Afternoon Reads, just because, open thread, U.S. Politics
Yup, that cartoon is correct. tRump taking a dump on democracy.
I write this with a lingering migraine and depression that is going through the roof. So since my fingers can barely move without the will to make them…here are a few links to look through this afternoon.
Above are two promos for a new video on Maya Angelou…via PBS. It looks good…take a peek at that.
Flint water linked to Legionnaires’ outbreak, CDC findings may suggest.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention genetic testing may help prove that untreated Flint River water contributed to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in and around the city, the MLive site reports.
More than 100 individuals, of whom 12 have died, have contracted the bacterial disease in the Flint area since the outbreak began in 2014. Michigan state officials suspected in early 2015 that Legionnaires’ cases may have been linked to Flint’s 2014 decision to begin using the Flint River as a source of tap water but didn’t make that suspicion public until nine months later. City, state, and federal officials’ failures to properly treat and monitor Flint’s tap water after the Flint River switch are also believed to have caused an epidemic of lead contamination.
The relevant CDC test found that a sample of water taken from the McLaren Flint hospital matched a sample taken from a Legionnaires’ patient who is not known to have received services at the hospital. The reason that’s important is because the state of Michigan is attempting to make the argument, disputed by McLaren officials, that the high number of Legionnaires’ cases during the outbreak that involved the hospital were attributable to the failures of its own internal water system. If bacteria found at McLaren match a patient who never spent time there, however, one logical possibility is that both the McLaren sample and the patient sample derive from a third, original source—like untreated Flint River water.
Eight Signs That Someone Is a White Terrorist – Juan Cole – Truthdig
1. If you appoint yourself to carry out surveillance of a mosque congregation who have never given any evidence of being violent, you might be a white terrorist.
2. If you don’t know the difference between gentle Sufi mysticism and violent extremism, you might be a white terrorist.
3. If you plot to burn down a mosque, you might be a white terrorist.
The rest of the 8 signs at the link….
From Newsweek, via Reuters: FBI Pursuing at Least 3 Separate Probes of Russian Hacking
And one more, this one about James Comey Has Some Goddamn Explaining to Do | GQ
It is four days old, but still ask important questions.
Now for some recent links on this Swedish thing…
‘Sweden, who would believe this?’: Trump cites non-existent terror attack | US news | The Guardian
Trump invents Sweden Terror Attack, Lies about Immigrant Crime | Informed Comment
But it looks like tRump was just watching crap FoxNews again:
Here are 21 facts that explain who Trump mouthpiece Stephen Miller really is
Even among the right-wing ideologues doing the actual presidenting in this administration, Stephen Miller stands out for the copious amounts of Kool-Aid he mainlines. Speaking to the New York Times, a Trump team colleague described Miller as “fiercely loyal” to the president, “a true believer in every sense of the word.” Though he joined the campaign in its early days, penning many of the apocalyptic speeches that won fear-drunk Republican hearts and minds, Miller recently got a lot more visibility after a string of television appearances in defense of the Muslim ban. At each stop, Miller showed a flair for the dramatic: he lied, he dodged, he put on his best tyrant’s voice and proclaimed the executive branch above the law. It seemed contrived and forced, like a politically precocious, weasley teenager’s idea of how to command a crowd. According to those who know Miller’s history, that’s not so far off the mark.
In other asshole news: Milo Yiannopoulos to give keynote address at CPAC next week: reports
Two stories with some legal notes:
Republicans Are Using An Arcane Tool To Handcuff Federal Agencies | The Huffington Post
Americans discover a new must-read for the Trump age: the US constitution | US news | The Guardian
And an article about tRump’s emotional state: Trump has ‘cabin fever’ in White House – Business Insider
This little story from NYTs: Opening the Heart’s Floodgates, With a Paw – The New York Times
I could not read the whole thing. Right now I am in a fix, I wanted to adopt this little mutt puppy that was born on the night we thought my mother was dying…back the day after Christmas. But, now…my mom and dad are refusing to let me bring her home. My mom would be okay with another pug puppy…a 2000.00 pug puppy, but not the puppy that I’ve gotten attached to over the past 2 months. Anyway…that is that.
That is all for today, this is an open thread.
Posted: February 12, 2017 Filed under: morning reads, open thread, U.S. Politics
Oh…ain’t it the fucking tRump truth!
Now for a review of last night’s Saturday Night Live.
There was more, including a Sen. Warren impression…they also have a clip of that over at Mediaite so you will be able to find it there.
During the show, SCROTUS (I love that…) tweeted in a pathetic attempt to, I don’t know:
Trump Tried To Steal Attention Away From SNL With This Pathetic Tweet And Failed Big League – GOPocalypse
First of all, wtf? He tweeted the joint statement he made two hours ago with an “In Case You Missed It” tag – even though it was still the last tweet showing at the top of his Twitter profile, so it was not all that difficult to find and watch. “ICYMI” is typically used for something a bit older than two hours.
Umm, suurree. This has nothing to do with what we all can assume is the rage induced by SNL’s mocking taking place right now, right? Oh, and there has been a lot of mocking with Alec Baldwin as tonight’s host.
“Big League mocking. – The best mocking.”
According to an unconfirmed account of alleged White House staff who have gone rogue (so this may nor may not be true) Lord Cheeto is pissed:
It’s probably safe to assume he’s all pissy right now, though. After all, he does have the thinnest skin of any human being who has ever walked the face of the earth.
I have to admit, the twitter comebacks to the orange fucker are keeping me going…it has reached a point where I look out for them now. Check out these few that were noted in the link:
Well, he’s likely going to be even angrier if he checks out the replies to his ICYMI tweet. People are telling him to shush, their show is on.
Twitter isn’t the only place that’s mocking tRump:
The whole world is mocking this asshole.
Donald Trump: America First Parodies Around the World | Time.com
At a time when President Donald Trump is keeping American comedians busy, the rest of the world can’t help but join in on the satire.
The “America First” parody video trend is sweeping the globe after a sketch first popularized by Dutch comedy show Zondag met Lubach took off in January. The inaugural video used Trump’s own quotes in a spoof packaged as a promo to convince Trump he should dub The Netherlands “second.” A wave of videos followed, as countries spun comedy gold to make the case that they deserve second place.
Here’s a rundown of all the videos from different countries to take a stab at the parody so far.
Go to the link to see all of the videos, I will just post this one because of the beginning…it is so good.
Heaping the praise on Trump’s first weeks in office, this video charts a love of travel bans by pumping up its rabbit-proof fence and an endless list of things that are big enough to please an American president.
And how is it possible not to make fun of the man:
Watch that video. (I don’t know if it has sound, so I will give that warning off the bat.) But damn…those hands. And let me say, from an Italian who can’t speak without using her hands…this guy is fucked up.
But in reality, most tRump supporters are enthralled. What do Trump voters think of his performance so far? | | Al Jazeera
We speak to Trump supporters in Kentucky, where he won 63% of the vote, and find widespread support amid some concern.
Sovanna Chhan, a Cambodian refugee who recently became a US citizen, doesn’t regret voting for Trump [Chris Kenning/Al Jazeera]
Take a look at that article. I can tell you that folks here in Banjoville are fighting mad about their love for tRump. Just the other day, while we were in the waiting room at the Chemo Dr for my mom’s appointment, Fox News was on…like it is always on in every restaurant, doctor office, hair salon, barber and Dunkin Donut/Starbuck in this town. (Fox News is like Banjoville’s own state television program. Kind of like what the people are forced to watch over in North Korea…but here it is tuned in by choice. And it is horrendous for those of us who are not Fox News zombie mutthafuckas.)
Anyway…back to my little story. tRump was on the Fox News channel, and my dad started to mimic his hand motions. You should have seen the looks on the faces of these people that stared down my dad…it was frightening. Not in a funny way either. I mean these folks are there for cancer treatment, but they were ready to get up out of their seats and beat the shit out of my dad. Fucking hell. I am all for ragging on tRump anytime and all the time, but I actually had to tell my father to knock it off. I didn’t want to start a war there in the waiting room. And for the rest of the time we were there. All those people did not stop giving us the death glare.
It is disgusting.
The rest of today’s links are also disgusting. I will give them to you in a link dump. Take some time to think about them as you read through them…and how they relate to each other. Some of these links are old, a few weeks or months, but I wanted to post them to highlight a few thoughts that are running together in my mind lately.
Starting with a link from December, thought it would be good to revisit it: Donald Trump will cause US power to collapse, says man who correctly predicted fall of USSR | The Independent
Historian Richard Evans says Trump’s America isn’t exactly like the Third Reich—but it’s too close for comfort.
Steve Bannon Carries Battles to Another Influential Hub: The Vatican – The New York Times
While Mr. Trump, a twice-divorced president who has boasted of groping women, may seem an unlikely ally of traditionalists in the Vatican, many of them regard his election and the ascendance of Mr. Bannon as potentially game-changing breakthroughs.
Just as Mr. Bannon has connected with far-right parties threatening to topple governments throughout Western Europe, he has also made common cause with elements in the Roman Catholic Church who oppose the direction Francis is taking them. Many share Mr. Bannon’s suspicion of Pope Francis as a dangerously misguided, and probably socialist, pontiff.
Until now, Francis has marginalized or demoted the traditionalists, notably Cardinal Burke, carrying out an inclusive agenda on migration, climate change and poverty that has made the pope a figure of unmatched global popularity, especially among liberals. Yet in a newly turbulent world, Francis is suddenly a lonelier figure. Where once Francis had a powerful ally in the White House in Barack Obama, now there is Mr. Trump and Mr. Bannon, this new president’s ideological guru.
Let that sink in…and remember the Vatican’s role with Germany in WW2…specifically…Hitler’s Pope.
Trump order won’t make cops safer, but might make it a felony to yell at them
“Contempt of cop” is a big enough problem already. The president seems determined to make it worse.
Federal agents conduct immigration enforcement raids in at least six states – The Washington Post
Seems like that latest EO will make it easier for anyone to become a “felon” and make it possible for ICE to deport…or for cops to arrest protesters.
This Is Where We Are 2-7-17 – Balloon Juice
So I just got off the phone with my mom and she shared some disturbing news. Especially so for me as the son of an immigrant, a Green Card holder until his death.
My former sister-in-law returned in the last couple of days from a family funeral in Peru. She’s an American, with passport, but originally from Peru. When her plane arrived at SFO, there were armed immigration/customs agents on the boarding ramp, right outside the plane’s door.
Every person exiting the plane was asked for their papers and scrutinized. This was a normal international flight, not from the countries of current trumpian concern. The next day, her friends told her that all international flights are being greeted thusly.
I’ve been traveling since I was two weeks old. I’m a dual national, but my US issued birth certificate shows I was born in Africa to an American woman and a Swiss man. This country has ALWAYS been the land of the free and customs and immigration folks are in their booths, lanes, aisles, etc. Not intimidating folks getting off the plane.
It’s beginning my friends. A moat is being created around us, between us and the rest of the world.
White House Correspondent Gateway Pundit’s Co-Blogger Found Guilty of Multiple Firearms Crimes – Little Green Footballs
Jim Hoft and his blog Gateway Pundit have long been known as purveyors of far right fake news, and now, in the era of the Trump Horror, Hoft’s blog has actually been credentialed as a White House correspondent.
Today in Oregon, one of Jim Hoft’s fellow bloggers at Gateway Pundit (and its equally bogus sister blog “Progressives Today”), Michael Aaron Strickland, was convicted of multiple felonies and misdemeanors for pulling a gun and threatening protesters at a demonstration in Portland
This, it is painful:
Trump’s Exchange on Asset Forfeiture is Quite Discomfiting
On Tuesday, in an incident picked up by NPR and a bunch of other outlets, Donald Trump joked to a group of sheriffs about “destroying the career” of a Texas state senator one of the sheriffs, Harold Eavenson of Rockwall County, Texas, was unhappy with. Eavenson is a fan of what is known as asset forfeiture, and the state senator had lobbied hard against a certain type of it.
What is asset forfeiture? Traditionally, it’s been the practice of taking someone’s stuff after they’ve been convicted of a crime — picture a DEA photo opp in front of a drug lord’s boats and jewelry and cars. But in many parts of the country, the practice has grown extremely loose, and there are numerous signs of widespread abuse. Law-enforcement officers can often take your stuff simply by, in effect, declaring that there’s some connection between you and a hypothetical crime — they don’t need to even arrest or charge you.
Trump made his joke after Eavenson complained about “a state senator in Texas who was talking about introducing legislation to require conviction before we can receive their forfeiture.” “Can you believe that?” responded Trump, before joking about ruining his career. As the Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday, it isn’t clear exactly which state senator Eavenson was referring to, but both Democrats and some Republicans there have pushed for laws to reform the state’s asset-forfeiture practices. And all they are asking is that someone be convicted of a crime before police take their stuff — they aren’t even questioning law enforcement’s authority to seize certain property.
The whole debate was new to Trump. As the White House’s transcript of the session where he made his joke makes clear (hat tip to Reason), the president didn’t appear to know what asset forfeiture was or what the debate over it entailed. This probably shouldn’t come as a surprise given that Trump, by his own admission, isn’t much of a reader, and has exhibited very little interest in questions of public policy. What’s interesting, though, is observing, through the transcript, the process of Trump puzzling through a new concept and trying to understand what it means and how it fits into his worldview.
Interesting and deeply, deeply discomfiting:
Lots more at the link…lots.
Trump ripped Mexico in tweet while Kushner was meeting with Mexican officials: report | TheHill
President Trump took to Twitter to slam Mexico over his border wall proposal while top advisor Jared Kushner was meeting with Mexican officials about a potential state visit, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Trump’s tweet abruptly ended Kushner’s negotiations in the White House, the report said. Kushner is Trump’s son-in-law and a White House senior advisor.
Disabled Children Become Trump’s Newest Target As Administration Sinks To New Low ‹ Winning Democrats
Donald Trump and his band of right-wing misfits have sunk to an even lower low. They have set their sights on a new target: disabled children. Shortly after Betsy DeVos was confirmed as education secretary, the website for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) completely disappeared.
Democratic senators demand to know why Betsy DeVos took down website for disabled students
Washington’s two U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D) and Patty Murray (D) have demanded to know why the Department of Education has deactivated a website dedicated to empowering and assisting students with disabilities and their families.
Cantwell and Murray said in a Friday press release that newly sworn-in Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos must “provide an immediate and detailed explanation for why the resource website for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has disappeared.”
“The Department’s failure to keep this critical resource operational makes it harder for parents, educators, and administrators to find the resources they need to implement this federal law and protect the rights of children with disabilities,” they said.
The IDEA website was set up under Pres. George W. Bush’s Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings so that “educators, advocates and parents could get a ‘one-stop’ explanation on the federal Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), as well as know their rights under the disability law,” said SeattlePI.com.
Cantwell and Murray’s statement continued, “The website has provided accessible and informative summaries of the law, training materials, sample educational forms, presentations for the public, and so many other user-friendly resources.”
The web address now redirects users to a site that “lacks much of the information previously available.”
Both senators opposed DeVos’ nomination over the Republican mega-donor’s ties to charter schools and voucher programs, which could potentially gut public school programs.
Let’s not forget:
Trump came under fire from during the 2016 campaign for appearing to mock disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who suffers from a chronic neuromuscular disorder.
I think this is a smart move: Dem to unveil bill requiring a White House psychiatrist | TheHill
Meanwhile, in my home state.
Yep, my redneck of the woods is in the news again:
Georgia white supremacist under FBI investigation after police find evidence of ricin in his car
William Christopher Gibbs, a 27-year-old man from Fannin County, Georgia is under FBI investigation after driving himself to the hospital last week, claiming he came into contact with the deadly substance ricin.
Fannin County Sheriff Dane Kirby confirmed that Gibbs’ car tested positive for ricin, a deadly poison that is found in castor beans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the substance can come in the form of a powder, a mist, a pellet, or can be dissolved in liquid and just a small amount of it can kill. The CDC notes, “It would take a deliberate act to make ricin and use it to poison people.”
It is unclear how or for what reason Gibbs came into contact with the ricin. The FBI “identified no evidence that any poisonous or toxic substances have been dispersed or that the public is at risk,” according to prosecutors who spoke with Fox News.
Gibbs’ Facebook profile indicates the 27-year-old white man is a member of the Georgia Church Of Creativity C.A and is a self-identified “White Racial Loyalist.” A profile photo on his account writes as the caption, “100 years from now when someone finds one of these trees thay [sic] will know that there was once a White Race.”
Creativity is a white supremacist, white separatist movement, originally known as the Church of the Creator. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the movement was founded in 1973 by Ben Klassen, a former one-time Florida state legislator, on the basis of promoting “what it sees as the inherent superiority and ‘creativity’ of the white race.” The SPLC also categorized the Creativity Alliance as an active neo-Nazi group in Georgia.
White supremacist organizations and movements have been active in Georgia in the year since now-President Donald Trump first announced his candidacy. On Jan. 28, 2017 white nationalist groups held an alt-right and white nationalist forum at Stone Mountain, Georgia, which anti-fascist organizers in the state planned to counter-organize. The alt-right movement has been described “as a mix of racism, white nationalism and populism,” according to the Associated Press.
According to local news reports, last Friday, residents of the Morganton neighborhood of Fannin County said nearly 100 officers in unmarked cars swarmed the area. Morganton Mayor Mike England told Fox 5 Atlanta, “All of the sudden a whole host of law enforcement vehicles showed up in our parking lot, somewhere between 30 to 40 vehicles. And around 100 law enforcement individuals.”
Video of the ridiculous sheriff can be seen here:
FBI investigating after ricin found in man’s car – CBS46 News
Incompetence. No. Complacent apathy? Like he really doesn’t give a shit, and he is fine with that…
America’s worst new congressman: Why Georgia’s Jody Hice is so frightening – Salon.com
Yes, from the state that gave you Health Secretary Price…
This is a man who has called Islam, the second-largest religion in the world, “a totalitarian way of life with a religious component” that “does not deserve First Amendment protection.” In his book he calls legal abortion “worse than Hitler’s six million Jews or Mussolini’s three hundred thousand,” adding that “the genocide in America is inexcusable!” In 2004, he told the Athens Banner-Herald that he doesn’t “see a problem” with women running for office “if the woman’s within the authority of her husband.” On his radio show he blamed Sandy Hook and other school shootings on “kicking God out of the schools, and… kicking God out of the public square.” He once misquoted a satirical essay by a gay writer as evidence that homosexuals preying on children was “part of the ‘gay manifesto’” and part of the “radical agenda that is currently threatening our nation.”
A Baptist minister and former talk radio host, Hice is filling the hole left after Paul Broun’s failed run for Senate. You might remember Paul Broun as the Congressman and medical doctor who stood in a room festooned with deer heads and told a gathering of Baptists and hunters that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang were “lies straight from the pit of Hell.” Broun set an incredibly high bar for mindboggling insanity, but Hice just might be able to clear it.
Sadly this isn’t even a surprise. It’s been clear that Hice was headed to Washington after beating businessman Mike Collins in the Republican primary run-off on July 22. Georgia is a brutally gerrymandered state, and as the 10th is currently drawn, winning the GOP primary basically guaranteed Hice the seat after a perfunctory general election. He ran against Democratic candidate Ken Dious, a lawyer from Athens, whose campaign’s most visible reminder after the election will most likely be the leftover campaign t-shirts clogging Dious’s attic like the unsold CDs and seven-inches found in the homes of so many Athens bands.
Even for Georgia natives familiar with the regressive conservatism found throughout much of the state, Hice’s rise and Broun’s longevity are confusing because their district contains one of Georgia’s more reliably liberal towns. The 10th encompasses Dious’s home of Athens, a university town that houses one of the state’s more notable liberal enclaves. Athens is overruled by its considerably more conservative neighbors in the 10th, which, for most of Broun’s tenure, stretched from the northern suburbs of Augusta up through a swath of rural communities along the state’s northeastern border with South Carolina. The district was rewritten again in 2013, but it’s still a deep red block with a small jot of purple called Athens.
Being represented by Broun was a source of extreme embarrassment for many in Athens, and that won’t change with Hice taking his seat. Athens used to be represented by moderate Democrat John Barrow until a Republican majority in both Georgia houses lead to mid-decade redistricting in 2005. Barrow was cut out of Athens and has grown increasingly conservative while pulling off a surprising series of reelection victories. The Blue Dog Democrat was the only white Democratic Congressman in the Deep South before he lost his own seat this week.
Like Paul Broun before him, Jody Hice has partisan redistricting to thank for his victory. Those same factors will keep him tied to the 10th, though, along with his own extremism. Despite making a national name for himself and becoming a tea party darling, Broun finished fifth in the GOP Senate primary in 2014. A conservative hero while ensconced safely in his own district, Broun crashed and burned in his first statewide election. He couldn’t run for both the Senate and the House, creating a void that Hice quickly filled with his own tactlessness and demagoguery. It’s tough to see Hice succeeding on a statewide level after both Broun’s crushing defeat and tea partier Jack Kingston’s Senate run-off loss to Romney-light millionaire businessman and political neophyte David Perdue.
Just another example of gerrymandering.
Well that is all for today…This is an open thread.
Posted: February 8, 2017 Filed under: morning reads, Political and Editorial Cartoons, Republican politics, U.S. Politics, Wednesday Hump Day Cartoons
02/08 Mike Luckovich: Constitutional Apprentice. | Mike Luckovich
The days do pass…
…and the horror with each passing day becomes more unbearable.
For example: House Republicans Just Voted to Eliminate the Only Federal Agency That Makes Sure Voting Machines Can’t Be Hacked | The Nation
In a little-noticed 6-3 vote today, the House Administration Committee voted along party lines to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission, which helps states run elections and is the only federal agency charged with making sure voting machines can’t be hacked. The EAC was created after the disastrous 2000 election in Florida as part of the Help America Vote Act to rectify problems like butterfly ballots and hanging chads. (Republicans have tried to kill the agency for years.) The Committee also voted to eliminate the public-financing system for presidential elections dating back to the 1970s.
“It is my firm belief that the EAC has outlived its usefulness and purpose,” said Committee chair Gregg Harper (R-MS), explaining why his bill transfers the EAC’s authority to the Federal Election Commission.
Doesn’t it make you want to puke? Curse the GOP? And then puke again?
Thirty-eight pro-democracy groups, including the NAACP and Common Cause, denounced the vote. “The EAC is the only federal agency which has as its central mission the improvement of election administration, and it undertakes essential activities that no other institution is equipped to address,” says the Brennan Center for Justice.
This move is particularly worrisome given reports that suspected Russian hackers attempted to access voter-registration systems in more than 20 states during the 2016 election. Moreover, the Presidential Commission on Election Administration set up by President Obama in 2014 outlined an “impending crisis” in voting technology and the Brennan Center found that 42 states used voting machines in 2016 that were at least a decade-old and at risk of failing. The EAC was the agency tasked with making sure these voting systems were both modernized and secure.
The EAC is not a perfect agency. It lacked a quorum of members from 2010 to 2014 and was paralyzed by inaction. Then, last year, its executive director unilaterally approved controversial proof-of-citizenship laws in Kansas, Georgia, and Alabama, which the federal courts subsequently blocked.
But given the threats to American democracy at this moment, the EAC needs to be strengthened, not replaced.
The whole last few weeks have been nothing but a farce, filled with ridiculous appointments, statements and orders. I no longer find things to be “ironic” but absurd…For instance, the last paragraph of this Nation article…
It’s particularly ironic that the Trump administration is preparing to launch a massive investigation into nonexistent voter fraud based on the lie that millions voted illegally while House Republicans are shutting down the agency that is supposed to make sure America’s elections are secure. It’s more proof of how the GOP’s real agenda is to make it harder to vote.
No fucking shit!!!!!!!!!!!
There is no fucking irony people. It is being done ON PURPOSE!!!!
How else does a fascist take over a government? How else does fascism and authoritarianism gain control? We are seeing it every minute of every day.
So here are the bloody cartoons. My life is so disgustingly depressing, not even these babies are laughing it up anymore for me…but maybe it will bring a smile to you all? I hope.
02/07/2017 Cartoon by David Horsey
02/07/2017 Cartoon by Nick Anderson
The backwards BS detector: 02/07/2017 Cartoon by Jen Sorensen
02/05 Mike Luckovich: Orange History Week. | Mike Luckovich
Funny video below, enjoy it!
This is an open thread.
Posted: February 5, 2017 Filed under: just because, morning reads, open thread
Today’s images come from the website The Amplifier Foundation.
I think we will start the post with two videos, from last night’s SNL…with the cold open first. (Because the one with Melissa McCarthy was too good, it has to go second.)
And the second video link, you need to go to the site Mediaite and click on the youtube video there:
McCarthy does not disappoint, in fact…I think it is the best skit and impersonation. She even gets the subtle eye movements. It is fantastic.
By now you may have seen this:
Oh, and yes…that fucking says, “Jews belong in the oven.”
Be sure to read the whole post.
And take this into account:
Jewish community centers in US receive nearly 50 bomb threats in 2017 so far | World news | The Guardian
Nearly 50 bomb threats have been received by Jewish community organizations in the US since the start of the year, in a climate of rising antisemitism nationwide.
“These are regular occurrences now, with a frequency that’s been increased and on a scale that’s been increased,” Elise Jarvis, associate director for law enforcement outreach and communal security at the Anti-Defamation League, told the Guardian.
The calls have come in clusters, Jarvis said, with the last on Tuesday 31 January causing evacuations at 14 Jewish community centers (JCCs). Another string of calls on 18 January had a similar impact.
So far none of the threats have been substantiated and law enforcement agencies have not identified any suspects.
Sticking with tRump’s administration and their negative affect on the amount of overt hate shown to any groups that do not fit their “ideal” standard.
Does the initial rhetoric match between Trump and Hitler? | The Telegraph
On February 1, 1933 — exactly 84 years ago today — Adolf Hitler delivered his first speech as Chancellor of Germany. That address is significant for a number of reasons beyond its anniversary.
After President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a number of prominent news sources ran comparisons between his speech and that of past presidents, noting that most had focused their addresses on themes of hope (“Yes we can…”), self-sacrifice (“Ask not what your country can do for you…”). Trump, on the other hand, focused on darker imagery and nationalistic themes.
The point of many of the comparison stories was that President Trump’s inaugural address veered from historical trends. Looking back a bit farther back, however — and across the Atlantic Ocean — shows that our newly inaugurated president’s speech was neither unique nor new. It was simply unique in modern American history.
Preserved for their historical relevance, Hitler’s speeches are widely available, in reliable translation, in libraries and in web-based sources. Progressives have been making comparisons between Trump and Hitler since the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign. But not all supremacist language takes us back to Nazi Germany; 21st century racism is abhorrent in its own right. So I invite your independent comparison of that 1933 radio address with the one offered at President Trump’s inauguration. The parallels in both structure and rhetoric are stark. Lest these comparisons seem hyperbolic, I include direct quotes from each address.
To begin with, each address alludes to a golden time in the nation’s history that must be restored. Each also seeks to locate blame with those responsible for struggles of the people (for whom both Trump and Hitler claim to speak).
President Trump: “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost . … Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. … Their triumphs have not been your triumphs and, while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.”
Chancellor Hitler: “More than 14 years have passed since the unhappy day when the German people, blinded by promises from foes at home and abroad, lost touch with honor and freedom, thereby losing all…”
Please give that article your attention, it has been said many times before, but I think seeing it in black and white, with the quotes…brings the disgust forward.
Moving from one explosive steam vent to another: Fukushima nuclear reactor radiation at highest level since 2011 meltdown | Environment | The Guardian
Radiation levels inside a damaged reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station are at their highest since the plant suffered a triple meltdown almost six years ago.
The facility’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), said atmospheric readings as high as 530 sieverts an hour had been recorded inside the containment vessel of reactor No 2, one of three reactors that experienced a meltdown when the plant was crippled by a huge tsunami that struck the north-east coast of Japan in March 2011.
The extraordinary radiation readings highlight the scale of the task confronting thousands of workers, as pressure builds on Tepco to begin decommissioning the plant – a process that is expected to take about four decades.
The recent reading, described by some experts as “unimaginable”, is far higher than the previous record of 73 sieverts an hour in that part of the reactor.
A single dose of one sievert is enough to cause radiation sickness and nausea; 5 sieverts would kill half those exposed to it within a month, and a single dose of 10 sieverts would prove fatal within weeks.
Tepco also said image analysis had revealed a hole in metal grating beneath the same reactor’s pressure vessel. The one-metre-wide hole was probably created by nuclear fuel that melted and then penetrated the vessel after the tsunami knocked out Fukushima Daiichi’s back-up cooling system.
“It may have been caused by nuclear fuel that would have melted and made a hole in the vessel, but it is only a hypothesis at this stage,” Tepco’s spokesman Tatsuhiro Yamagishi told AFP.
“We believe the captured images offer very useful information, but we still need to investigate given that it is very difficult to assume the actual condition inside.”
The presence of dangerously high radiation will complicate efforts to safely dismantle the plant.
One more link before the end, Trump’s Cabinet So Far Is More White and Male Than Any First Cabinet Since Reagan’s – The New York Times
This is an open thread.
Posted: January 29, 2017 Filed under: morning reads, open thread
Today’s post is brought to you by the paintings of Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber. You can see more artwork here at their blog: personal message
Now on to the matter at hand.
What the fuck is going on?
Trump upends National Security Council, appoints Bannon and Priebus | Rare
Donald Trump has removed the Director of National Intelligence, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Energy from the National Security Council’s Principals Committee.
In their place, he’s added former head of Breitbart News Steve Bannon and ex-RNC chief Reince Priebus.
Yeah, what the fuck…
Trump boots top officials — but includes Steve Bannon — in reshuffled National Security Council
another series of executive orders on Saturday, Pres. Donald Trump restructured the National Security Council (NSC) and created a position on it for senior aide and former Breitbart.com CEO Stephen K. Bannon.
The Washington Post reported Saturday night that in addition to installing Bannon on the council, Trump ordered the Pentagon to come up with a strategy to defeat ISIS and conducted his first phone call with Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin and conducted calls with other heads of state.
The Post reported that Bannon has been given a regular seat on the National Security Council’s principals committee, which will include the nation’s highest ranking security officials, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State.
Unlike previous presidential administrations, Trump’s Saturday memo specified that the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs will only attend principals committee meetings that pertain to their specific “responsibilities and expertise.”
The changes, Trump said, will bring “a lot of efficiency and, I think, a lot of additional safety.”
Bannon — who famously compared himself to Star Wars villain Darth Vader, former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney and Satan — has already exerted a heavy hand over the formulation Trump’s foreign policy agenda, aides say, and is extending his influence ever deeper into the administration’s workings.
The former Goldman Sachs executive presided over the expansion of Breitbart.com from a fringe right-wing web community to a sprawling hub of the so-called “alt-right,” a collection of white nationalists, racists, anti-feminists and neo-Nazis.
On the council, Bannon will be privy to some of the country’s most highly classified military and intelligence secrets. Typically membership on the council is reserved to the president and key administrators and is, as columnist and author Dan Froomkin said Saturday night “off limits to political hacks.”
This week, Bannon gave a contentious interview to the New York Times in which he urged the media to “keep its mouth shut and listen” and stop reporting negative stories about the new administration.
Why Twitter is talking about Steve Bannon with the hashtag #StopPresidentBannon | Boston Herald
These are a few various tweets from last night:
Follow that thread…
The rest of today’s links are in dump fashion because I cannot handle it anymore.
Unknown number of U.S. permanent residents stuck overseas as a result of Trump’s immigration ban – LA Times
Boston area academics facing bans on entering US – The Boston Globe
Judge blocks deportation of detainees over Trump refugee order | TheHill
Immigration attorneys seeking to help airport travelers in Los Angeles blocked by visa ban – LA Times
Attorneys General From 16 States Condemn Trump Immigration Order | The Huffington Post
Lawyers take on Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.
Judge blocks deportation of detainees over Trump refugee order | TheHill
Judges temporarily block part of Trump’s immigration order, WH stands by it – CNNPolitics.com
The Latest: Demonstrators in NYC protest Trump travel ban | Boston Herald
EEOC is withdrawing from a transgender rights case.
Donald Trump Muslim immigration ban: US border patrol ‘checking people’s Facebook for political views’ | The Independent
Russia parliament votes 380-3 to decriminalize domestic violence
Trump banned refugees on Holocaust Remembrance Day. That says everything | Cecillia Wang | Opinion | The Guardian
White House didn’t mention Jews in Holocaust statement because others “suffered” too.
Judge blocks Texas law requiring mothers to bury foetuses after abortion or miscarriage | The Independent
One Dead, Four Wounded in First Manned Raid of Trump Presidency – The Daily Beast
French Media Think Trump Is Insane, Literally | Crooks and Liars
Asghar Farhadi announces that he will not attend Oscars ceremony · Newswire · The A.V. Club
This is an open thread…