Hi Sky Dancers!
I really had hoped that last year’s elections and dump of Trump would calm the country down. I can tell you that my street is already seeing infrastructure improvements. I lost water all day long while contractors cut out a huge–and I mean huge–old steel sewer pipe out of the street to replace it with PVC. This will be at least a year-long process. This pipe was put in the street before my parents were born. There are many more like it to be replaced.
I can only think about these pipes being formed in someplace where there were thousands of real steelers working up North. They were likely put on trains that could reach a place where they could be floated on barges to their home down here. That pipe was at least 20 feet underground and was large enough for a good-sized man to crawl through it using hands and knees. I’m now curious about what kind of cranes they had back in the day because that pipe likely weighed a lot. So, think back to those years where the dawn of the last century met science, technology, and progress. That picture of pipes placed in Boston in 1909 looked a lot like the one they pulled out of the cross street on my block.
I bugged the crew with so many questions that they offered to get me sloggers and let me watch while they used an iron saw to take it apart. I unfortunately, had to teach but this little girl that loved her building sets and her sandbox dump trucks would have been there in a minute if I could have.
So, I have messy, smelly, life-interrupting proof of infrastructure projects! Why do I feel so little progress is being made to get out of the mess the Republicans have made of this country this century? Well, let me share some headlines with you.
This is from David Leonhardt writing for The New York Times: “Covid Malaise. Why do Americans say the economy is in rough shape? Because it is.” I’m writing this as I watched 3 neighbors get booted from their apartments with a 5-day notice after the release of the evictions block by the Federal Government. I’m also aware that there was money available to their landlords and it appears a bunch of small landlords are booting their tenants and using the money to upgrade the property to seek higher rents instead of keeping renters in place. Yes, I’m just full of anecdotal evidence today!
Offices remain eerily empty. Airlines have canceled thousands of flights. Subways and buses are running less often. Schools sometimes call off entire days of class. Consumers waste time waiting in store lines. Annual inflation has reached its highest level in three decades.
Does this sound like a healthy economy to you?
But I think the answer to this supposed paradox is that it’s not really a paradox: Americans think the economy is in rough shape because the economy is in rough shape.
Sure, some major statistics look good, and they reflect true economic strengths, including the state of families’ finances. But the economy is more than a household balance sheet; it is the combined experience of working, shopping and interacting in society. Americans evidently understand the distinction: In an Associated Press poll, 64 percent describe their personal finances as good — and only 35 percent describe the national economy as good.
There are plenty of reasons. Many services don’t function as well as they used to, largely because of supply-chain problems and labor shortages. Rising prices are cutting into paychecks, especially for working-class households. People spend less time socializing. The unending nature of the pandemic — the masks, Covid tests, Zoom meetings and anxiety-producing runny noses — is wearying.
While some of these disruptions are minor inconveniences, others are causing serious troubles. The increase in social isolation has harmed both physical and mental health. Americans’ blood pressure has risen. Fatal drug overdoses have soared, with a growing toll among Black Americans. A report this week from the surgeon general found that depression, anxiety, impulsive behavior and attempted suicides had all risen among children and adolescents.
“It would be a tragedy if we beat back one public health crisis only to allow another to grow in its place,” Dr. Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general, wrote.
Schools are a particular source of frustration. Last year, the closure of in-person school caused large learning losses. This year, teachers have the near-impossible task of trying to help students make up for lost time, which has left many teachers feeling burned out.
I feel like I’m living in a developing country. Inflation is rising. It’s about at levels it was during the Reagan years though. It’s nowhere near peak Nixon level. This is from Jeff Cox at CNBC. Actually, when a country is growing, inflation is not unusual. Nor is it unusual when a country is reeling from a shock like the Covid-19 epidemic that was badly mishandled by the Trump Regime.
Inflation accelerated at its fastest pace since 1982 in November, the Labor Department said Friday, putting pressure on the economic recovery and raising the stakes for the Federal Reserve.
The consumer price index, which measures the cost of a wide-ranging basket of goods and services, rose 0.8% for the month, good for a 6.8% pace on a year over year basis and the fastest rate since June 1982.
Excluding food and energy prices, so-called core CPI was up 0.5% for the month and 4.9% from a year ago, which itself was the sharpest pickup since mid-1991.
The Dow Jones estimate was for a 6.7% annual gain for headline CPI and 4.9% for core.
There is a difference between what’s called the headline CPI and the core CPI. Headline inflation is the total inflation in an economy. … It is different from core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices while calculating inflation. Food and energy are not included in core inflation because their prices are volatile. It makes headline inflation a more volatile measure than core inflation. The core is a more reliable measure of underlying price trends.
So, now this is looking less of a temporary surge which means policymakers will have to make decisions. This is especially relevant for the Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors supported by information from its economists. This is from The Washington Post. and Rachel Siegel.
In time, it’s possible that lower gas and energy prices or unclogged supply chains can help steer prices back down to more sustainable levels. But there’s no telling when that will happen, and in the meantime, businesses and consumers could start to change their expectations of what’s still to come.
“Yes, inflation can abate, but what [policymakers] care about is, is it significant or insignificant to peoples’ lives and decision-making?” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton. “This is inflation that’s not likely to be insignificant anytime soon, and that’s a problem.”
Financial markets appeared to shrug off the news, with the Dow Jones industrial average and the tech-heavy Nasdaq up slightly on Friday.
Inflation has emerged as a top political concern for voters ahead of the 2022 midterms, especially because the cost of food or gas is often a test for how people perceive the economy.
Republicans criticized the high inflation numbers, blaming Democrats’ stimulus as the culprit and warning against future legislative packages.
The problem with Republican criticism is that Trump’s massive tax cuts and his original Covid-19 payments are as responsible for this as anything the Biden administration has done to date. Most of those funds have yet to be circulated and after all, we’re still on the Trump Budget since it’s stalled in the Senate.
What is most unsettling to me are the continuing stories about the ongoing Trump coup. So little appears to be happening to punish the culprits in charge of the Trump Regime. This headline would be so Hollywood if it wasn’t real. From Reuters: “Kanye West publicist pressed Georgia election worker to confess to bogus fraud charges.”
Weeks after the 2020 election, a Chicago publicist for hip-hop artist Kanye West traveled to the suburban home of Ruby Freeman, a frightened Georgia election worker who was facing death threats after being falsely accused by former President Donald Trump of manipulating votes. The publicist knocked on the door and offered to help.
The visitor, Trevian Kutti, gave her name but didn’t say she worked for West, a longtime billionaire friend of Trump. She said she was sent by a “high-profile individual,” whom she didn’t identify, to give Freeman an urgent message: confess to Trump’s voter-fraud allegations, or people would come to her home in 48 hours, and she’d go to jail.
Freeman refused. This story of how an associate of a music mogul pressured a 62-year-old temporary election worker at the center of a Trump conspiracy theory is based on previously unreported police recordings and reports, legal filings, and Freeman’s first media interview since she was dragged into Trump’s attempt to reverse his election loss.
Kutti did not respond to requests for comment. Her biography for her work at the Women’s Global Initiative, a business networking group, identifies her as a member of “the Young Black Leadership Council under President Donald Trump.” It notes that in September 2018, she “was secured as publicist to Kanye West” and “now serves as West’s Director of Operations.”
Oh, and then there’s this:
Why is CNN trying to keep Trump in the headlines? Is it really because of the coup?
Nothing is more symbolic than this picture. Guess who didn’t wear a mask to Bob Dole’s funeral?
So, I’m going to putting some headlines up about the signaling the Supremes seem to be doing on taking down Roe V. Wade next. This makes me shake with anger. Women are headed back to chattel status on a state-by-state basis.
I am officially tired of this shit. What will the backlash from this be? I’m not sure how much more I got left in me.
Have a good, peaceful weekend.
What’s on your blogging and reading list today?
I’m just tired of the constant bombardment of absolutely outrageous actions, words, and plans coming out of the Trumpist Regime. There appears no end to what Trump and his cronies think they can get away with and still be considered fit to work and walk around in pubic.
Watching Trumpists downplay the dangers of a pandemic running rampant in many parts of the country is just one of these outrages that sets me off. Trump wants business as usual and so he’s getting it through mouthpieces like Larry Kudlow who has no business being employed by anyone, let alone our government. He’s also flouncing around the country spreading hate and discontent and furthering his profile as the nation’s racist-in-chief. This is from the AP.
At the White House, aides now routinely flout internal rules requiring face masks. The president’s campaign is again scheduling mass arena rallies. And he is back to spending summer weekends at his New Jersey golf club.
Three months after President Donald Trump bowed to the realities of a pandemic that put big chunks of life on pause and killed more Americans than several major wars, Trump is back to business as usual — even as coronavirus cases are on the upswing in many parts of the country.
While the nation has now had months to prepare stockpiles of protective gear and ventilators, a vaccine still is many months away at best and a model cited by the White House projects tens of thousands of more deaths by the end of September.
Amid renewed fears of a virus resurgence, financial markets — frequently highlighted by Trump as a sign of economic recovery — suffered their worst drop since March on Thursday. The market opened on the upside Friday morning.
At the White House, though, officials played down the severity of the virus surge and sought to blame it on factors beyond Trump’s forceful push to reopen the economy, which he’s counting on to help him win reelection.
“I spoke to our health experts at some length last evening. They’re saying there is no second spike. Let me repeat that: There is no second spike,” Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said Friday on “Fox & Friends.”
He said COVID-19 cases are increasing only in certain spots of the country, but that nationally, the rates of new cases and fatalities have flattened out. “There is no emergency,” Kudlow said. “There is no second wave. I don’t know where that got started on Wall Street.”
Yascha Mounk–a contributing writer at The Atlantic— wrote this today “The Virus Will Win. Americans are pretending that the pandemic is over. It certainly is not.” There is a huge list of what our country and our so-called leadership is doing wrong.
A second wave of the coronavirus is on the way. When it arrives, we will lack the will to deal with it. Despite all the sacrifices of the past months, the virus is likely to win—or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it already has.
In absolute terms, the United States has been hit harder than any other country. About a quarter of worldwide deaths have been recorded on these shores. And while the virus is no longer growing at an exponential rate, the threat it poses remains significant: According to a forecasting model by Morgan Stanley, the number of American cases will, if current trends hold, roughly double over the next two months.
But neither the impact of mass protests over police brutality nor the effect of the recent reopening of much of the country—including the casinos in Las Vegas—is reflected in the latest numbers. It can take at least 10 days for people to develop symptoms and seek out a test, and for the results to be aggregated and disseminated by public-health authorities.
Even so, the disease is slowly starting to recede from the public’s attention. After months of dominating media coverage, COVID-19 has largely disappeared from the front pages of most national newspapers. In recent polls, the number of people who favor “reopening the economy as soon as possible” over “staying home as long as necessary” has increased. And so it is perhaps no surprise that even states where the number of new infections stands at an all-time high are pressing ahead with plans to lift many restrictions on businesses and mass gatherings.
I am horrified that bars in my neighborhood are opening tomorrow albeit at 25 % capacity and that the local AirBnbs are filling up with folks with license plates from CoVid Death Zones like Georgia, Alabama, Texas and the like. I’m just blessed most folks from Arizona don’t get this far east or they’d be here to spreading it merrily around our vulnerable population too so they can have a little Disneyfied Adult Entertainment at our expense.
Then, there’s the endless parade of current and former Trumpist Regime appointees that coulda whoulda shoulda done something but just sat there and let the chaos flow all over us and expect a voice in the criticism now. Oh, and a big pay check … they expect that too …
This outrage pretty well sums up my thoughts on Bloodless John Bolton and the release of his “tell all”. He should of told all when we could’ve impeached the ass and saved lives.
This is from Axios who have gotten an advance copy of the book. Like I said, it seems to me that we should all boycott buying it since he obviously didn’t care enough about the country to come forward with this out of patriotism instead of greed.
John Bolton taunts President Trump, his former boss, on the back cover of his forthcoming book: “Game on.”
- In a memoir coming June 23 that the White House has tried to delay, former national security adviser Bolton will offer multiple revelations about Trump’s conduct in office, with direct quotes by the president and senior officials, according to a source familiar with the book.
Why it matters: Bolton, who was U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under President George W. Bush, is a lifelong conservative and longtime Fox News contributor who is well-known by the Trump base, the source pointed out.
- In “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” Bolton will go beyond Ukraine, and argue there was “Trump misconduct with other countries,” the source said.
- Axios agreed to grant anonymity to the source in order to give readers a window into the book ahead of publication.
Behind the scenes: People close to Trump have been worried about the book because Bolton was known as the most prolific note taker in high-level meetings, Jonathan Swan reports.
- Bolton would sit there, filling yellow legal pad after yellow legal pad with notes.
- In short: Bolton saw a lot, and he wrote it down in real time. And when he left, the White House never got those notes back.
Jordan Fabian and Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg have more to offer on this: “Bolton Book to Relate Trump Chaos, How Re-Election Drove Policy.”
“I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by re-election calculations,” Bolton writes in the book, titled “The Room Where It Happened,” the publisher said in a release.
The former top security aide, who was ousted last September, will argue the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry was too narrow and should have focused on more than Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden. Simon & Schuster promised Bolton will offer details on other similar moves by Trump across the full range of his foreign policy and the national security adviser’s efforts to stop them.
Bolton declined to testify in the House’s impeachment probe, and instead deferred to the federal courts if a subpoena would be legally valid. House Democrats did not issue a subpoena, saying a lengthy legal battle would unnecessarily prolong the impeachment process.
Bolton said during a February speech at Vanderbilt University he did not regret his refusal to testify because it “would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome.”
“I sleep at night because I have followed my conscience,” he said, according to USA Today.
So glad he can sleep well at night. I sure as hell wish I could.
Bill Barr continues to dismantle democracy daily. Can this Judge stop him from setting Michael Flynn Free? From WAPO: “Court appears reluctant to order judge to immediately drop criminal case against Michael Flynn”.
A federal appeals court in Washington on Friday appeared reluctant to order a judge to immediately dismiss the guilty plea of President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, suggesting courts have the authority to review whether Justice Department moves to drop a prosecution are “in the public interest.”
Flynn, joined by the Justice Department, had asked the appeals court to force U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to quickly close the case and put a stop to Sullivan’s examination of the government’s unusual decision to drop the charges against the retired three-star general.
But Judges Karen Henderson and Robert Wilkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit expressed skepticism of Flynn’s argument that Sullivan cannot conduct an independent evaluation or name an outside party to argue against the Justice Department’s May 7 motion.
“If Judge Sullivan had just kept this motion waiting and languishing, that’s one thing,” Henderson told Flynn attorney Sidney Powell. “But he has set a hearing for mid-July. For all we know, by the end of July he will have granted the motion. You also know courts have said he’s not a ‘mere rubber stamp’ either. There’s nothing wrong with him holding a hearing — there’s no authority I know of that says he can’t hold a hearing.”
Wilkins agreed, citing two cases in which he said the Supreme Court upheld the authority of federal judges “to perform an independent evaluation” before granting a government motion to drop a prosecution.
“You’re saying the Supreme Court got it wrong,” he asked.
“No,” Powell said, “I’m saying the independent review of the record consists of just that, and the record in this case is extremely well documented of prosecutorial misconduct, and suppression of [exculpatory] evidence which would warrant dismissal in any circumstance.”
So, one final scream on Trump, his rallies, and his plan to host his triumphal speech in Jacksonville Florida violating yet another sacred day in US History. So, of course, the first is holding a rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth which is the site of a horrific massacre of African Americans on May 31 and June 1, 1921.
And now this!
There is no end to his hateful racists actions, words, and sentiments.
So, I know all of this is depressing because living in our country right now is an ongoing nightmare. He has no respect for the US Constitution, our American laws and values, or any of us for that matter.
I hope you have a very peaceful weekend and that you’re fortunate enough that you can stay safe at home with your beloveds!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
I know that I have posted this picture before, but it has special meaning today….
Her Derby name is “Bomba”
I wanna make a derby comic pretty bad and I might just use her as char, I loved drawing her. *Printing it so I can have it as motivation for the comic*
Many body positive blogs have been reblogging this today making it skyrocket in notes. I just wanna thank you for the comments, the notes and asked I’ve received and welcome to all new followers. I really appreciate it!
I’ve been asked regarding having this pic as a print and t-shirt, etc
Again thank you so much ♥⚡!
Innit lovely? She is so fuckingfantastic, I had to buy some “merch” with this roller babe on it…
Ok, that is enough diversion for now, let’s get to the bitterness:
I appreciate Sarah Kendzior more than I can say, but honestly, I do dread her twitter post as well…because she is so spot on. It seems like you can go back through her feed and find just how prescient her threads have been:
In October 2017, U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson died in a hail of gunfire while fighting off militants in Niger. Soon after, his widow, Myeshia Johnson, received a call from President Donald Trump. After coldly telling her that her husband “knew what he signed up for,” Trump failed to remember the slain soldier’s name, leaving Johnson shocked and crying.
“I heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband’s name, and that’s what hurt me the most, because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risked his life for our country, why can’t you remember his name?” she said.
As the U.S.’s deranged president threatens to go to war in Syria and possibly beyond, it is worth re-examining how Trump views the troops whose lives he is putting on the line. For all his macho posturing and exhortations about his beloved generals, Trump–a draft dodger who referred to avoiding STDs as “my personal Vietnam”–has long treated veterans and their loved ones with contempt. This contempt is not rooted in an aversion to the military as an institution–Trump bloated the military budget and has been striking the Middle East while threatening North Korea and other states–but an aversion to the concept of service to one’s nation itself.
Serving one’s country is a sacrifice, and sacrifice terrifies Trump. The idea that one would risk oneself–out of love, loyalty, or duty–is alien to him. Sacrifice, to Trump, is a sucker’s bet, a gamble beyond his comprehension–but one he is all too willing to let other Americans make.
In July 2015, Trump insulted John McCain, who was tortured as a military prisoner in Vietnam. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump scoffed. “I like people who weren’t captured.” The comment shocked the audience, but it is completely in line with Trump’s worldview. What offends Trump about McCain is not that he was captured, but that he was willing to risk being captured–especially for a cause greater than himself.
This is not to say Trump does not thrive on disaster. He began his career profiting off the financial ruin of New York City (“When bad times come, then I’ll get whatever I want,” he told Barbara Walters in the 1980s) and continued to spout this philosophy before his presidential run (“You know what solves it? When the economy crashes, when the country goes to total hell and everything is a disaster. Then you’ll have, you know, you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be when we were great,” he told FOX News in February 2014.) Trump loves a catastrophe if he is its beneficiary.
…Trump, with his visceral revulsion at the concept of service, is still the greatest danger. It is Trump whose past has finally caught up with him; it is Trump who stands the most to lose; it is Trump who unilaterally can launch nuclear weapons. Trump has shown that human beings have little inherent value to him. If Trump senses he may have to make a personal sacrifice, he will sacrifice the world instead.
This is a post from April 2018. I think Sarah resent the link today because it makes a point about the latest events from the past week. Even with the news and confirmation that Russia fucked with our election…tRump is still going forward with the planned one on one meeting with his handler Putin. (I mean that with all sincerity.)
Here are some signs from London’s protest of Trump:
If you click that link and go directly to the instagram site, you can scroll through about 6 more pictures in that particular post. Or you can just more your arrow up to the middle edge of the picture above, and you should be able to scroll through the images as well….
Despite the American corporate media’s efforts to obscure the radical, irreverent, and often obscene signs on display across the United Kingdom on Friday, the disgust hundreds of thousands of Britons feel toward Donald Trump and Trumpism could not be suppressed as they took to the streets en masse to show their opposition to the U.S. president’s hate-filled policies.
Below, we present some of the greatest signs from Friday’s demonstrations, which “drastically exceeded” the expectations of organizers in both size and spirit.
I think that one above is my favorite….
LONDON—The first protestors began assembling on Portland Place, just outside the BBC’s London headquarters, on Friday morning. They carried signs. “FEED HIM TO THE CORGIS,” said one. “TANGERINE TYRANT,” read another. “BOLLOCKS TO TRUMP.” “IKEA HAS BETTER CABINETS.” “TRUMP IS A TOSSER.” “I HAD TO FIX MY PRINTER FOR THIS.”
This image is floating around my Facebook groups:
Wow, is that a joke?
Notice the ZTA sticker on the back of the car window? Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity | The official website of ZTA
Here is another picture making the rounds:
As far as “jokes” are concerned, these next few links are not jokes:
A Michigan judge ruled last week that children do not have a fundamental right to learn how to read and write.
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by Public Counsel, the nation’s largest public interest law firm, on behalf of Detroit students that sought to hold state authorities, including Gov. Rick Snyder (R), accountable for what plaintiffs alleged were systemic failures depriving children of their right to literacy, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“I’m shocked,” said Ivy Bailey, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, the newspaper reported. “The message that it sends is that education is not important. And it sends the message that we don’t care if you’re literate or not.”
The suit also sought fixes to crumbling schools that, among other measures, Detroit Public Schools Community District officials reportedly said would amount to more than $500 million.
The state had argued for dismissing the suit, with the city’s lawyers saying local officials are “all too familiar with illiteracy’s far reaching effects.”
“Widespread illiteracy has hampered the City’s efforts to connect Detroiters with good-paying jobs; to fill vacancies on its police force, and to grow its tax base,” said lawyers for the city. “Illiteracy, moreover, has greatly exacerbated the effects of intergenerational poverty in Detroit.”
So, here is the decision:
U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy III acknowledged the importance of literacy in his ruling on Friday in a 40-page opinion.
“Plainly, literacy — and the opportunity to obtain it — is of incalculable importance,” Murphy wrote. “As plaintiffs point out, voting, participating meaningfully in civic life, and accessing justice require some measure of literacy.”
But he concluded that those points “do not necessarily make access to literacy a fundamental right,” adding that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the past that the importance of service “does not determine whether it must be regarded as fundamental.”
Wait a minute…wasn’t there a fucking PSA campaign called, “Reading is Fundemental.”
Oh no, it was an actual charity, the biggest one no less, founded in 1966!
Reading Is Fundamental is committed to a literate America by inspiring a passion for reading among all children, providing quality content to make an impact and engaging communities in the solution to give every child the fundamentals for success. As the nation’s largest children’s literacy non-profit, Reading Is Fundamental maximizes every contribution to ensure all children have the ability to read and succeed.
Click the link up top to find out more information and see ways you can get involved in the programs.
In other reading news: South Carolina police object to high-school reading list | Books | The Guardian
A police union in South Carolina has challenged the inclusion of Angie Thomas’s multiple award-winning novel about police brutality, The Hate U Give, on a school’s summer reading list, describing it as “almost an indoctrination of distrust of police”.
The intervention from the Fraternal Order of Police Tri-County Lodge #3 came after Wando high school’s ninth-grade class was asked to read one of eight novels over the summer holidays. Two of the titles upset the police union: The Hate U Give, which follows a teenage girl after she witnesses the shooting of her unarmed best friend by a police officer, and Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely’s All American Boys, which sees a teenage boy trying to overcome his distrust of the police after he is wrongly suspected of shoplifting and then beaten by an officer.
Hey, check out the name of the cop leading the objection, ironic?
In fact, there are eight books on the reading list, only two of which tackle police brutality. Thomas’s book was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, but also includes a character, the main protagonist’s uncle, who is a black police officer and positive role model. It has won prizes including the Waterstones children’s book award, while All American Boys is the recipient of the Walter Dean Myers award for outstanding children’s literature.
You can read more at the link above, here is a screenshot of Blackmon from the local news link:
Then of course….there’s Maude:
Former Vice President Joe Biden claims that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked the Obama administration from warning the public about possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Anyway, that is all I have for today.
I am hoping to start working out and skating so that I can build up to becoming fresh meat at a roller derby somewhere. I have already picked my name out, Fanny Bigguns.
“Feel the Girthquake as Fanny Bigguns rolls on by….”
Yeah, my big ass should be able to block pretty darn good. And, it can maybe help get rid of all this angst I’ve been building up over the last few years.
This is an open thread.
Last night thug “president” Trump did his ridiculous PT Barnum act with his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court to replace Anthony Kennedy. Supposedly, Trump was deciding among about four candidates, but it turns out the fix may have been in all along.
Has any other president made a deal with a Supreme Court Justice to appoint a chosen replacement?
After Justice Anthony Kennedy told President Donald Trump he would relinquish his seat on the Supreme Court, the president emerged from his private meeting with the retiring jurist focused on one candidate to name as his successor: Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Kennedy’s former law clerk….
So even as Trump dispatched his top lawyers to comb though Kavanaugh’s rulings and quizzed allies about whether he was too close to the Bush family, potentially a fatal flaw, the president was always leaning toward accepting Kennedy’s partiality for Kavanaugh while preserving the secret until his formal announcement, sources with knowledge of his thinking told POLITICO.
I’m sure we’ll be learning more about this, and I hope Democrats respond aggressively.
Basic background on Kavenaugh
President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick is no stranger to partisan politics: Before becoming a judge, he was helping make the case for the impeachment of Bill Clinton and later for the election of George W. Bush.
Twenty years ago, Kavanaugh’s story starts amid the highly politicized independent counsel investigation into Clinton. He worked for Starr as a young Yale Law graduate, first when Kenneth Starr was solicitor general and later in the Office of the Independent Counsel, where Kavanaugh was a key player in the slew of investigations into the Clintons, including the Whitewater scandal, the suicide of White House counsel Vincent Foster and Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.
The Starr Report to Congress laid out the details of Clinton and Lewinsky’s affair and findings of potential wrongdoing by the president. Kavanaugh was the primary author of the section on the grounds for possible impeachment, Starr would reportedly later say,because “that needed to be very carefully crafted, so I was looking to one of the office’s most talented lawyers — of superb and balanced judgment — to take the lead in drafting.” [….]
He was a member of the GOP legal team fighting to stop the recount in Florida to clear the way for Bush’s election against Al Gore in 2000, later taking a job in the Bush White House in 2001, where he’d serve for five years as counsel and later staff secretary until his confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2006.
Brett M. Kavanaugh, the federal judge nominated by President Trump on Monday to the Supreme Court, has endorsed robust views of the powers of the president, consistently siding with arguments in favor of broad executive authority during his 12 years on the bench in Washington.
He has called for restructuring the government’s consumer watchdog agency so the president could remove the director and has been a leading defender of the government’s position when it comes to using military commissions to prosecute terrorism suspects.
Kavanaugh is “an unrelenting, unapologetic defender of presidential power” who believes courts can and should actively seek to rein in “large swaths of the current administrative state,” said University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck, who closely follows the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Kavanaugh’s record suggests that if he is confirmed, he would be more to the right than the man he would replace, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, for whom he clerked. Kavanaugh has staked out conservative positions in cases involving gun rights, abortion and the separation of powers.
Read more details at both of those links.
What Kavanaugh Would Likely Do on the Court
Kavanaugh is an obvious choice for Trump. A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, he has maintained staunchly conservative credentials without earning a reputation for being a bomb-thrower. Unless Republican Sen. Susan Collins grows a spine, which she won’t, he has a clear path to Senate confirmation. During his hearings, Kavanaugh will claim he cannot reveal his true feelings about Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion access. But there is little doubt that Kavanaugh will gut Roe at the first opportunity. Indeed, he has already provided a road map that shows precisely how he’ll do it.
Kavanaugh was forced to confront the abortion question in 2017 after the Trump administration barred an undocumented minor, known as Jane Doe, from terminating an unwanted pregnancy. The American Civil Liberties Union sued on Doe’s behalf, and the dispute came before a three-judge panel at the D.C. Circuit. Kavanaugh was joined on the panel by Judge Karen L. Henderson, an arch-conservative, and Judge Patricia Millett, a moderate liberal. Doe, who was being held in a federally funded Texas shelter, had already obtained the necessary judicial bypass to get an abortion. But the Trump administration refused to let her see an abortion provider, instead sending her to an anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy center.”
By that point, Doe would be about 18 weeks pregnant. Texas bans abortion after 20 weeks, and the procedure becomes more dangerous as the pregnancy advances. Moreover, the process of finding and verifying a sponsor for an undocumented minor frequently takes weeks or months. And Doe’s lawyers had already searched for a possible sponsor, to no avail. Kavanaugh’s ostensible compromise, then, was nothing of the sort. At best, it would force Doe to suffer through her unwanted pregnancy for at least two more weeks, increasing the odds of complications when she was finally able to obtain an abortion. At worst, it meant the government could run down the clock to the point that an abortion would become illegal.
Luckily for Doe, the full D.C. Circuit swiftly reversed Kavanaugh’s decision and allowed her to terminate her pregnancy, which she did. This move prompted Kavanaugh to write a bitter dissent explaining why the government’s bar on Doe’s abortion was not, in fact, an undue burden.
Read the rest at Slate.
When President Trump Monday nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, he probably doomed the right to abortion, same-sex marriage, and maybe even contraception….
…while Kavanaugh’s record on women’s and LGBT rights is sparse, it gives good reason to suspect that he could be the swing vote to strike down Roe v. Wade, the abortion-rights case. This, after all, is what Trump promised in 2016: that Roe would be “automatically” be overturned should he be elected. And Kavanaugh has been praised by numerous right-wing organizations.
In the case of Garza v. Hargan, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held that an undocumented teenage immigrant was entitled to obtain an abortion without having to obtain familial consent (as is required in several states).
Kavanaugh vigorously dissented, asking, “Is it really absurd for the United States to think that the minor should be transferred to her immigration sponsor ― ordinarily a family member, relative, or friend ― before she makes that decision?”
Those are strong words, endorsing not only parental consent rules but enforcing them in extreme circumstances. If you are looking for signals that a Justice Kavanaugh would limit or overturn Roe, Garza is a giant red flare.
There’s also a possibility that Kavenaugh might not be right wing enough to satisfy some Republicans.
Kavanaugh may not be conservative enough to survive the confirmation process. There is even talk that conservatives might revolt against Kavanaugh, as they did in 2005 against George W. Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers. The reason? Many conservatives wanted Kavanaugh to cast doubt on the teenager’s right to get an abortion at all, which another dissenting judge did.
Legally speaking, that objection is absurd. Not unlike “judicial minimalist” Chief Justice John Roberts, Kavanaugh was discussing the case at issue, not some hypothetical issue. And he was responding to the circuit court’s holding, not writing an essay.
But there’s more. Some conservatives have pointed to dicta in another Kavanaugh opinion, a dissent in Priests for Life v. HHS, a case similar to Hobby Lobby involving the Affordable Care Act’s contraception requirement. While dissenting in favor of the Catholic religious organization objecting to the requirement, Kavanaugh wrote that the “the Government has a compelling interest in facilitating women’s access to contraception” because of a variety of factors, such as “reducing the number of unintended pregnancies would further women’s health, advance women’s personal and professional opportunities, reduce the number of abortions, and help break a cycle of poverty.”
Kavanaugh is writing here about the state’s interest in access to contraception, not whether an individual has a constitutional right to access it. Those are totally different questions. But Kavanaugh’s opinion doesn’t question the constitutional right either, which rests on the same foundations (substantive due process, privacy, family) as the right to obtain an abortion.
This one is a must read–lots of details on Kavenaugh’s record. Head over to The Daily Beast to read the rest.
Read more about Kavenaugh and abortion here:
One more from The New York Times editorial board: There’s So Much You Don’t Know About Brett Kavanaugh. And you probably won’t until it’s too late.
First, the awful lot: Judge Kavanaugh would shift the balance of constitutional jurisprudence to the right, creating a solid right-wing majority on the court possibly until the second half of the 21st century. While the somewhat unpredictable Justice Anthony Kennedy once served as the fulcrum for the court, that role will now go to Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., a far more ideological conservative.
Judge Kavanaugh, who sits on the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia, has been a fixture in conservative politics and is widely respected by the Republican elite. Before becoming a judge, he clerked for Justice Kennedy and worked for Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton, and later in the George W. Bush White House. He successfully portrayed himself in his remarks at the White House as a nice guy who coaches girls in basketball, feeds the homeless and believes in the Constitution.
What Americans can’t know about Judge Kavanaugh: pretty much anything else. That’s thanks to the perversion of the Supreme Court confirmation process, which once provided the Senate and the public with useful information about a potential justice’s views on the Constitution, but which has, ever since the bitter battle over President Ronald Reagan’s failed nomination of Robert Bork in 1987, devolved into a second-rate Samuel Beckett play starring an earnest legal scholar who sits for days at a microphone and labors to sound thoughtful while saying almost nothing.
Read the rest at the NYT.
I know there’s plenty of other news, but this is the biggie for today. Post your thoughts and links on any topic in the comment thread, and try to have a good day despite the horrors all around us.
Hey, a happy go lucky ray of fucking sunshine? That would be a positive thing…right?
I wonder if I could find an “untranslatable word” for it in Dr. Lomas’ Glossary of Happiness. (Actually it is called: The Positive Lexicography Project.) And I believe it is something that many of you will find truly fascinating…especially Boston Boomer, who made the study of language a part of her doctoral thesis.
Let’s get down to the article from The New Yorker that introduces us to Dr. Lomas’ Glossary of Happiness | The New Yorker
Last summer, Tim Lomas flew from London to Orlando to attend the fourth annual congress of the International Positive Psychology Association—held, naturally, at Walt Disney World. As Lomas wandered around the event, popping in and out of various sessions, he stumbled upon a presentation by Emilia Lahti, a doctoral student at Aalto University, in Helsinki. Lahti was giving a talk on sisu, a Finnish word for the psychological strength that allows a person to overcome extraordinary challenges. Sisu is similar to what an American might call perseverance, or the trendier concept of grit, but it has no real equivalent in English. It connotes both determination and bravery, a willingness to act even when the reward seems out of reach. Lomas had never heard the word before, and he listened with fascination as Lahti discussed it. “She suggested that this has been really valued and valorized by the Finns, and it was an important part of their culture,” he told me. At the same time, Lomas said, Lahti framed sisu as “a universal human capacity—it just so happened that the Finns had noticed it and coined a word for it.” The conference ended the next day, but Lomas kept thinking about sisu. There must be other expressions like it, he thought—words in foreign languages that described positive traits, feelings, experiences, and states of being that had no direct counterparts in English. Wouldn’t it be fascinating, he wondered, to gather all these in one place?
As the story goes…he went back home to London and began to work on his Lexicography. Lomas is a professor at University of East London…
[…] where he is a lecturer in applied positive psychology, he launched the Positive Lexicography Project, an online glossary of untranslatable words. To assemble the first edition—two hundred and sixteen expressions from forty-nine languages, published in January—he scoured the Internet and asked his friends, colleagues, and students for suggestions. Lomas then used online dictionaries and academic papers to define each word and place it into one of three overarching categories, doing his best to capture its cultural nuances. The first group of words referred to feelings, such as Heimat (German, “deep-rooted fondness towards a place to which one has a strong feeling of belonging”). The second referred to relationships, and included mamihlapinatapei (Yagán, “a look between people that expresses unspoken but mutual desire”), queesting (Dutch, “to allow a lover access to one’s bed for chitchat”), and dadirri (Australian Aboriginal, “a deep, spiritual act of reflective and respectful listening”). Finally, a third cluster of words described aspects of character. Sisu falls in this category, as do fēng yùn(Mandarin Chinese, “personal charm and graceful bearing”) and ilunga(Tshiluba, “being ready to forgive a first time, tolerate a second time, but never a third time”).
Since January, the glossary has grown to nearly four hundred entries from sixty-two languages, and visitors to the Web site have proposed new entries and refined definitions. It is a veritable catalogue of life’s many joys, featuring terms like utepils (Norwegian, “a beer that is enjoyed outside . . . particularly on the first hot day of the year”), mbuki-mvuki (Bantu, “to shed clothes to dance uninhibited”), tarab (Arabic, “musically induced ecstasy or enchantment”), and gigil (Tagalog, “the irresistible urge to pinch/squeeze someone because they are loved or cherished”). In the course of compiling his lexicon, Lomas has noted several interesting patterns. A handful of Northern European languages, for instance, have terms that describe a sort of existential coziness. The words—koselig (Norwegian), mysa (Swedish), hygge (Danish), and gezellig (Dutch)—convey both physical and emotional comfort. “Does that relate to the fact that the climate is colder up there and you would value the sense of being warm and secure and cozy inside?” Lomas asked. “Perhaps you can start to link culture to geography to climate. In contrast, more Southern European cultures have some words about being outside and strolling around and savoring the atmosphere. And those words”—like the French flâner and the Greek volta—“might be more likely to emerge in those cultures.”
On a side note…this reminded me of the story of the Sicilian Vespers. There is a word on the Island of Sicily that is only used on that island. It is the Sicilian word for chickpea. Foreigners had a very difficult time pronouncing it correctly…so difficult that it was the giveaway to tell if you were friend or foe at the time. So, this was the “password” that was used during to Sicilian Vespers. SICILIAN VESPERS – Casa Amaltea
It is said that the Sicilians used a linguistic stratagem to identify the Frenches camouflaged among the common people, showing them chickpeas ( “ciciri», in Sicilian dialect) and asking them to pronounce the name: those who were betrayed by their French pronunciation (sciscirì) were immediately killed.
But back to the happy words…and the New Yorker article:
Linguists have long debated the links between language, culture, and cognition. The theory of linguistic relativity posits that language itself—the specific tongue that we happen to speak—shapes our thoughts and perceptions. “I think most people would accept that,” Lomas said. “But where there is a debate in linguistics is between stronger and weaker versions of that hypothesis.” Those who believe in linguistic determinism, the strictest version, might argue that a culture that lacks a term for a certain emotion—a particular shade of joy or flavor of love—cannot recognize or experience it at all. Lomas, like many modern linguists, rejects that idea, but believes that language affects thought in more modest ways. Studying a culture’s emotional vocabulary, he said, may provide a window into how its people see the world—“things that they value, or their traditions, or their aesthetic ideals, or their ways of constructing happiness, or the things that they recognize as being important and worth noting.” In this way, the Positive Lexicography Project might help the field of psychology, which is often criticized for focussing too much on Western experiences and ideas, develop a more cross-cultural view of well-being. To that end, Lomas—who is currently using untranslatable words to enumerate, classify, and analyze different types of love—hopes that other psychologists treat his glossary as a jumping-off point for further research. “You could have a paper or even a Ph.D. on most of these concepts,” he said.
This was so “neat” to me…after I read the article I began to think about things, like a bubble diagram popping up in my head.
Some bubbles held bits of tRump speeches, and the ridiculous lack of developed words they contain.
And I wondered if I could find some words in other languages to express the various kinds of emotions that come from certain other current events. Like say…white police killing people of color?
I’ve been saving that old comic panel since the video of the Philando Castile shooting came out weeks ago.
*Another side note here…take a look at this fucking video:
I had originally saved it from a shared post on Facebook, again back when the video of the Castile shooting was released. Of course, when I went back to my saved items on FB…it had been deleted. I guess someone found it offensive?
Oh, I am going off on a tangent. Let me get to the cartoons before I become too much of a fucking capoter ray of sunshine.
And remember…many of these cartoons are from the Foreign Press.
This is an open thread…have at it.